Goaltender Joey Daccord isn't going anywhere.
The 26-year old will stay in the Kraken system, signing a two-year extension with the team on Friday worth $1.2 million annually. The move secures a potential developing part of their future after a wildly successful season, spent mostly in the American Hockey League with Coachella Valley.
“Joey had an impressive season with the Coachella Valley Firebirds, playing a significant role in their Calder Cup Finals run, and contributed meaningful minutes with the Kraken,” said Kraken general manager Ron Francis in a statement.
Daccord became a linchpin in the Firebirds run to the Calder Cup Finals, going 26-8-3 with a .918 save percentage and three shutouts, the latter marking an AHL career high. He took his game up a notch in the postseason, with a .926 save percentage and three more shutouts, including two in the first two games of the Finals before Hershey claimed the series in seven games. Still, Daccord set new playoff records for starts (26), saves (726), and minutes played (1,647).
Also, as an advanced stickhandler at the goaltending position, Daccord logged three assists and was the only goaltender in the playoffs to record a point.
At times when the Kraken were wearing thin on goaltending depth, Daccord was pressed into starting duties on recalls to the NHL level and was solid. Daccord went 2-1-1 for the Kraken this season with a .900 save percentage, including an early season win at Calgary with Philipp Grubauer on the shelf due to injury, and Martin Jones staying at home for the birth of his son, Rory.
Depending on activity in free agency, which opens Saturday morning at 9:00am PT, Daccord could be in position to land the backup role behind Philipp Grubauer next season. Chris Driedger is an option with one year left on his current $3.5 million deal but hasn’t played in the NHL since the end of last season when he tore his ACL at the World Championships. Martin Jones, whose play declined after a solid start to the year in place of the injured Grubauer, will enter the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
The Kraken aren’t expected to be as active in the free agent market as last year, when they signed Andre Burakovsky, defenseman Justin Schultz, and Jones while trading for Oliver Bjorkstrand in response to an expansion season when they missed the playoffs. The Kraken improved exponentially this past year, made the playoffs, and are set to retain a big piece of their core ahead of next year, save defenseman Vince Dunn, who will be a restricted free agent but has expressed an interest in returning next year.
“We’re in a good spot,” Francis told 93.3 KJR-FM, who referenced ten of 12 forwards returning who dressed in the lineup on a regular basis, and Tye Kartye, who “turned some heads” in his play last year, and postseason and expects to push for a spot next season.
“I’m not going into free agency expecting to do what we did last year. We’ll see if things change when July 1st hits, but that’s where we stand.”
They will have $20 million of cap space, likely prioritizing those available dollars to lock up Dunn and restricted free agent defenseman Will Borgen. Forwards Daniel Sprong and Morgan Geekie weren’t tendered qualifying offers and will enter the open market as unrestricted free agents. Defenseman Carson Soucy is expected to command attention in the open market too, with an expiring contract marking him an unrestricted free agent.