My last article took a look at the 10 Ottawa Senators’ skaters who had played just one NHL game with the organization. As for the goalies, it’s a much smaller list – only 38 goalies have played at the NHL level for the Senators. Of those guys, there are five who were one and done. There’s a decent chance that number drops to four in the near future, but for now, here they are:
2001-02: Simon Lajeunesse
A second round pick of the Senators in 1999, Simon Lajeunesse had a strong start to his pro career as Lajeunesse, Martin Prusek and Mathieu Chouinard shared the Harry “Hap” Holmes Award for the team whose goalies gave up the least amount of goals in the AHL that season. In early March, he was called up to backup Patrick Lalime against the San Jose Sharks. Lalime was pulled after letting in five second-period goals, giving Lajeunesse his NHL chance.
Related: Senators’ 2000 Draft Revisited
In 23 and a half minutes, he made nine saves on nine shots. Almost exactly one year later, he was traded to the Florida Panthers for tough guy Joey Tetarenko (Tetarenko barely missed this list for skaters, playing in two games for the Sens). Lajeunesse would spend most of the next couple of seasons in the ECHL. He is one of the few goalies in NHL history that can say he finished his career with a 1.000 save percentage (SV%).
2013-14: Nathan Lawson
With a career .920 SV% in the AHL, Nathan Lawson deserved at least an opportunity to show himself at the NHL level. Unfortunately, during his chance with the New York Islanders in 2010-11, he went 1-4-2 with a goals against average over 4.00 and an .893 SV%.
With the Sens a few years later, he was called up to back up Robin Lehner in a mid-March game against the New York Rangers. Lehner struggled, allowing five goals, which gave Lawson his chance to start the third period. Lawson gave up two goals on ten shots and with that, his chance as a Senators NHL goalie came to an end. Lehner went back in net for the last several minutes as the Sens were blown out 8-4. Lawson went back to the AHL and played then played overseas, mainly in Austria, in the seasons that followed.
2015-16: Matt O’Connor
The undrafted Matt O’Connor spent two seasons in the USHL before heading to Boston University. It was his last season there that caught the attention of NHL teams. The Jack Eichel-led Terriers dominated college hockey that season. O’Connor went 25-4-4 with a .927 SV%. He drew interest from over a dozen NHL teams. He chose the Senators, leaving the organization thrilled about his future potential:
With Andrew Hammond hurt to start the 2015-16 season, O’Connor was picked to start the team’s home opener against the Montreal Canadiens. In a 3-1 loss, he gave up three goals on 34 shots. Unfortunately, he struggled in the AHL the next couple of seasons, posting a sub .900 SV%, and never made it back to the NHL.
2017-18: Danny Taylor
Danny Taylor was a true journeyman. He played four total NHL games for three teams. He played those games in 2008, 2013 and lastly for the Sens in 2018. In between, he spent time in the ECHL, AHL, DEL, SHL, KHL, and Czech League.
He came to the Senators organization in 2017-18 as they hoped for him to be a solid veteran goalie at the AHL level. Despite mediocre play in the AHL, the veteran Taylor was recalled to start the last game of the 2017-18 season. He stopped 30 of 34 shots as the Senators dreadful season came to end with a 5-2 loss to the Boston Bruins. Taylor then returned to the KHL.
2018-19: Joey Daccord
Fresh off a fantastic season at Arizona State University, Joey Daccord signed a pro contract with the Senators and was given one NHL start towards the end of the 2018-19 season. He gave up five goals on 40 shots as the Senators lost 5-2 to the Buffalo Sabres. Of course, what makes Daccord different than the others on this list is that he has a good chance of playing more than just the one game for the Sens.
His first full pro season was great as he posted a .915 SV% in the AHL and starts next season as the Belleville Senators top goalie. Depending on his development, a call-up to the NHL in the near future is a definite possibility.
With the excitement around Daccord’s future, the list of true one and done Senators’ goalies is only four guys. Of those four, they can be broken up into two groups – Lawson and Taylor as journeymen veterans, versus Lajeunesse and O’Connor as younger goalies who, at the time of their NHL starts, had bright futures ahead of them. Goalies, of course, are always hard to predict.
Here are two stories to back that up: Due to their excitement about O’Connor paired with the emergence of Andrew Hammond, the Senators were willing to trade away long-time goalie of the future Robin Lehner. Years later, it’s Lehner who has caught the attention of Sens’ fans as a potential free-agent-to-be after this season.
Going back further, the year before the Sens took Lajeunesse in the second round, they took goaltender Mathieu Chouinard in the first round. They again took Chouinard two years later, this time in the second round. Interestingly enough, he played just one NHL game. It was for just under three total minutes for the Los Angeles Kings in February of 2004. Like Lajeunesse, Chouinard can proudly state that he finished his NHL career with a SV% of 1.000.
I’m Danny, covering the Ottawa Senators as they attempt to rebuild their way back to contender status.