One of the feel-good stories of the year so far was Joey Daccord’s first NHL win, coming against the Toronto Maple Leafs earlier this month after the young goaltender was forced into action. Ottawa Senators starter Matt Murray suffered an injury in the warm-up, leading to Daccord being thrown to the wolves against the North Division-leading Maple Leafs without much time to prepare. The 24-year-old goaltender would stop 33 of 36 shots for his first NHL victory, leading to an emotional post-game interview that endeared Daccord to hockey fans across the continent.
Unfortunately, the next chapter of the story isn’t a happy ending. Just when it seemed that Daccord was going to get an extended run as the Senators starter, he suffered a lower-body injury on Wednesday night against the Vancouver Canucks. As relayed by Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion told TSN radio today Daccord will be out long-term, “most likely the season.” Garrioch’s sources have led him to believe that the goaltender is dealing with a high-ankle sprain, though the team has not released any specific information.
Daccord is an easy player to root for, after going 199th overall in the 2015 draft and spending three seasons at Arizona State University. He became the first Sun Devil to play in the NHL when he debuted for the Senators in the 2018-19 season (not to mention being the first Sun Devil to even sign an entry-level contract) and has looked at least relatively capable in his eight appearances this season. An .897 save percentage in those starts doesn’t look like much, but when you realize that Murray has an .880 and Marcus Hogberg an .859, Daccord looks like a Vezina-winner in comparison.
Hopefully, even if he doesn’t return to the lineup this season he’ll be back on the ice before long. Daccord actually signed a three-year contract with the Senators in the fall, taking him through the 2022-23 season.