Typically, the Friday afternoon press release evokes dread in a fanbase. It’s almost always bad news. And there was some of that yesterday, with Daniel Sprong and Morgan Geekie being cut loose. But at 4:18 p.m. Pacific, news of the opposite kind broke: goalie (and good friend of the Sound Of Hockey Podcast) Joey Daccord was signing a contract extension with the Kraken. Daccord had been a “Group 6” unrestricted free agent bound for the open market on Saturday, July 1. Instead, the “original Kraken” returns to the team. He joins a list of 11 other players drafted by Seattle in the Expansion Draft that are currently signed or have been tendered a contract for the 2023-24 season.

What is the deal?

Seattle Kraken announced that it was a two-year deal at $1.2 million AAV. As confirmed by CapFriendly, it is a one-way deal, meaning that Joey Daccord will earn the same salary even if he spends some or all of the term of the contract in the AHL. This contract should more than double Daccord’s career earnings as estimated by CapFriendly. For the player, it is a tremendous accomplishment and well deserved.

Joey Daccord player profile

Age: 26
Born: August 19, 1996
Birthplace: Boston, Mass., United States
Height: 6’2″
Weight: 197 lbs
Catches: Left

SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAASave %
2021-22Seattle KrakenNHL54.30.850
2021-22Charlotte CheckersAHL342.280.925
2022-23Seattle KrakenNHL53.140.900
2022-23Coachella Valley FirebirdsAHL642.360.921
Source: HockeyDB

What do the analytics say?

Play tracking data is not available to the public at the AHL level, so we don’t have access to statistics about how Daccord performed relative to the shot quality he faced. During his 2022-23 AHL regular season, Joey Daccord ranked fifth in the league with a .918 save percentage. In the postseason he was tied for third in save percentage at .926 and faced significantly more work than all of the goaltenders that ranked in front of him. There was a strong possibility he would have been the MVP of the Calder Cup Playoffs had Coachella Valley won its final game against Hershey.

At the NHL level, the sample size remains small, so it is tough to glean too much from his data. According to Evolving Hockey, Daccord fared just slightly below average in the five games of NHL time he saw in 2022-23, allowing 13 goals on shots expected to generate 12.6 scores.

Visualization by HockeyViz

Where does he project with the Kraken?

The Kraken’s goaltender depth chart looks like this:

  • Philipp Grubauer (signed through 2026-27)
  • Chris Driedger (signed through 2023-24)
  • Joey Daccord (signed through 2024-25)
  • Ales Stezka (signed to ELC through 2023-24)
  • Niklas Kokko (signed to three-year ELC; likely to come to North America in 2024-25)

It is possible the Kraken sign a veteran minor-league goalie for AHL/ECHL depth, but otherwise the Kraken are likely done at the position following the signing of Joey Daccord. In fact, their depth chart syncs up fairly well for multiple years into the future now. Of course, this also means Martin Jones’s tenure with the Kraken is likely done.

While most seemed resigned to losing to Daccord in free agency if Driedger remained with the team, I haven’t viewed it that way. In fact, in a post on Seattle’s looming RFA decisions on June 6, I made a bold prediction that Seattle would re-sign Daccord to a two-year, one-way contract worth $1,150,000 AAV. If I don’t say so, I almost nailed it. (Excuse the victory lap. Feels good to get a bold prediction right after missing on most of Seattle’s potential draft picks.) Here is what I wrote about Daccord in that post from four weeks ago:

“This projection [of two-years, $1,150,000 AAV] is a bit out there, but here is my thought process: Joey Daccord has shown that, at the least, he can be a very good player and leader at the AHL level. Heading into free agency, the Kraken don’t have a clearly defined third goaltender on the depth chart. Signing Daccord to this deal gives the Kraken necessary depth in goal in the short term. If, ultimately, Daccord is sent back to Coachella Valley next year at cutdown time, the size of the commitment would make other teams more hesitant to claim him. And if he is sent down his salary can be completely “buried” and will not count on the NHL salary cap. On the other hand, if Daccord beats out Chris Driedger for the backup job in camp, Driedger could be sent through waivers; if unclaimed, the salary cap implications would be neutral since $1,150,000 of Driedger’s deal can be ‘buried’ at the AHL level. On Daccord’s side of the equation, he gets significant security even if he has to wait one more year for a clear shot at a backup role.”

My thoughts on how Daccord fits in the Kraken organization are the same now. (Check out the rest of that post and my other projections for Kraken RFAs here.)

Driedger and Daccord are likely to compete for the backup job in camp, with the loser of the competition going to Coachella Valley. If Daccord is the “loser,” which strikes me as more likely at this point, Daccord’s significant contract makes it less likely another team claims him on waivers. On the other hand, his contract would count only $50,000 towards the Kraken salary cap. ($1,150,000 of his contract can be “buried” if he plays at the AHL level. Read more on “buried” contracts here.)

Ales Stezka (26) is on an entry-level contract and is waivers exempt. Stezka has played as the primary starter for HC Vitkovice in the Czech Extraliiga for the last two seasons. Unless he looks like the best goalie on the team at camp, he will likely start the season at Coachella Valley and form a tandem with either Driedger or Daccord. An additional depth goalie may be signed in case one of Daccord or Driedger are claimed.

Niklas Kokko (19) will play one more season in Liiga and then likely come to North America to play in the Kraken organization next year. He signed his entry-level contract earlier this year.

Where do the Kraken go from here?

Check out John Barr’s free agency preview here.

After this signing, I have the Kraken projected at $19,143,000 remaining in cap space for the 2023-24 season with 10 forwards (not counting Tye Kartye), four defensemen, and two goalies signed, plus one buried contract penalty for a goalie at the AHL level.

Seattle tendered contracts to RFAs Vince Dunn, Will Borgen, Cale Fleury, and Kole Lind, but those players (and their potential contracts) are not counted above.

More on Joey Daccord

Joey Daccord is always a favorite interview on the Sound Of Hockey Podcast. Check out his most recent visit to the show, during the Calder Cup Playoff run, here.