Ottawa Senators Top 25 Under 25, #21: Joel Daccord
The Hobey Baker nominee has some work to do to earn his spot
21. Joel Daccord (Reader Rank: 21, Last Year: 24)
While there is a lot of hype about the Swedish duo expected to guard the Belleville net next season, the Senators have also another coveted goalie in play: Joel Daccord was a seventh round pick in 2015 and made his NCAA debut in the 2016/17 season with Arizona State University (ASU). He has been on the rise since, and greatly improved his chances of winning a spot in Belleville after a stellar performance last season.
He is mostly known for his puck handling and athleticism, both of which have contributed to his outstanding NCAA season that earned him a Hobey Baker nomination. He was also a finalist for the Mike Richter award, given yearly to the goalie judged to have had the best season in the NCAA. He posted an impressive 92.6% save percentage and a 21-12-1 record. Below are a few of his highlights which, endearingly enough, he created himself. It should be noted that Daccord was drafted out of high school as he impressed scouts with his elite talents and pro-like work ethic — this could well when goalies have such unpredictable development curves.
Most fans have been more exposed to Hogberg and Gustavsson, but Daccord has made the highlights on the weekly prospects updates a few times and has caught a few eyes. A three spot jump for a goalie who hasn’t seen long term play in the organization speaks volume of the attention Daccord has been garnering in Ottawa. Daccord made his NHL debut in April against the Buffalo Sabres in quite a forgettable fashion but neither the fans nor the organization could look at this game as any indication of his future. On the bright side, with that debut he officially became the first ASU player to have a game in the NHL.
It has been a while since goaltending was a position of strength in this organization, but Daccord alongside Gustavsson and Hogberg have the potential to form an extremely bright future in the Ottawa net. Daccord committed to the Sens in April. The team rewarded him with an entry-level contract that it would be hard to argue he didn’t earn with his play. While Gustavsson’s season did not go as planned in 2018/2019, Daccord flourished so the question remains: who will back up Hogberg in Belleville? What happens if an injury or trade were to happen in the big club? There are a lot of unanswered questions for the Sens goalie prospects and Daccord figures to be right in the middle of it all.