Hockey’s growth in Arizona took another step forward on Saturday when one of Arizona State’s 2016-17 commits, Joey Daccord, was drafted by the Ottawa Senators. Daccord was taken in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Daccord’s selection by Ottawa is notable for ASU as he will be ASU’s first NHL draft pick.
Daccord is a goaltender coming off of his senior year (2014-15) at Cushing Academy in Massachusetts where he posted a .933 save percentage and a 1.80 goals against average.
Central Scouting ranked Daccord the number 10 North American goalie prospect heading into the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. He’s even drawn comparisons to New Jersey Devils goaltender Cory Schneider.
Here is just a quick scouting report from Joe Curtis at Elite Prospects on Daccord and what ASU fans can expect as they watch him play,
“A modern battlefly style goalie [butterfly/hybrid mix] who displays elite-level positioning and athleticism. Has very good size for a goaltender; paired with his positioning, he can be very difficult to beat. An impressive skater who handles and plays the puck proficiently; in general, uses the goal stick actively. Quick to realize when to take a whistle and cover up, and when it’d be a better idea to play the puck up-ice. When reacting to a save, his form is impeccable: smooth transition to the butterfly position, square to the shooter, shoulders up, glove hand up and out, tight blocker angle, and goal stick covering any inlets to the five-hole. All-in-all an athletic goaltender that knows how to shut the door and elevate his level of play; as a result, Joey Daccord gives his team a chance to win every night.”
As ASU’s hockey program enters into NCAA Division I, head coach Greg Powers has been working hard to recruit top hockey talent to Arizona State. Daccord’s commitment to ASU was one of, if not the biggest name to have committed to ASU.
Daccord has one more year to complete at the junior level. He will play the 2015-16 season in the United States Hockey League (USHL) with the Sioux City Musketeers and will then be eligible to play for ASU during the 2016-17 season.
The 2016-17 season will also be ASU’s first full season of NCAA Division I play, 2015-16 will be a hybrid season consisting of NCAA DI teams and ACHA teams. So, Daccord will be ready for when ASU takes the final step out of the ACHA and into DI.
ASU has great hockey program and now that it’s stepped into the NCAA light, it’s going to get more attention. If the program continues on its current track, Daccord will only be the first of many Sun Devils to be drafted into the NHL.
Hockey in the desert is gaining momentum, especially with Arizona product, Auston Matthews, projected by some to be the number one overall draft pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The sport continues to grow in the Valley of the Sun, but still has a ways to go. Arizona is by no means a top producer of hockey talent at the moment, but the state is headed in the right direction, and besides, everyone needs to start somewhere, right?