Story by Evan Oscherwitz
Former ASU hockey star Joey Daccord is headed back to the West Coast.
NHL insider Frank Seravalli reported that Daccord would be selected by the Seattle Kraken, the league’s newest team, in Wednesday night’s expansion draft, bringing his brief but memorable run with the Ottawa Senators to a close.
— Bruce Garrioch (@SunGarrioch) July 21, 2021
During his time at Arizona State, Daccord was a bona fide superstar. He backstopped the Sun Devils to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance as a junior in 2018-19 and was a finalist for the Mike Richter Award, given annually to the best goaltender in college hockey.
He made his NHL debut for Ottawa later that year, becoming the first Sun Devil to play at hockey’s highest level, and despite playing only three seasons with the maroon-and-gold, his 34 wins are still the most in program history.
2021 has been an eventful year for the 23 year-old Daccord, who earned his first NHL win on Mar. 14 under unlikely circumstances. Daccord was not scheduled to start that night, but he was forced into action after starter Matt Murray suffered an injury in warmups, and ended up making 33 saves in a 4-3 Ottawa win over the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"I don't even have words right now. I just want to thank my family for everything they've done for me – It's pretty special."
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) March 15, 2021
While that performance may come to define his career as a Senator, Daccord will have a chance to forge a lasting legacy for himself in Seattle, where he will likely battle former Washington Capitals goalie Vitek Vaneček for the Kraken’s backup job.
In Ottawa, Daccord was stuck behind two-time Stanley Cup champion Matt Murray, in whom the Senators invested $25 million last offseason, and had to share backup duties with the organization’s three other goalie prospects. Seattle’s net will be considerably less crowded, and the lack of an established starter provides Daccord with an excellent opportunity to become one of the team’s two regular goalies.
It is rather fitting that Daccord finds himself joining an expansion team, as his career at Arizona State began in just the Sun Devils’ second year as an NCAA program. Daccord was instrumental in transforming ASU hockey into a legitimate entity in college hockey, and he will now be able to play a similar role with the Kraken as they begin their journey towards NHL relevance.
Many players before him have seen their careers take off as a result of joining expansion teams, and given his experience at ASU, it would not be surprising to see Daccord become the next NHLer to make a name for himself with a brand-new organization.