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In the Pipeline: Ottawa Senators Goaltending

Senators goaltending

With another addition to their blue crease, the Ottawa Senators goaltending pipeline has another strong candidate in the mix. That being Joey Daccord. After a solid season at Arizona State University, Daccord has turned many heads. But Joey Daccord is not the only upcoming goalie the Senators have. Let’s dive into the Sens future in-between the pipes and how it shapes up.

Ottawa Senators Goaltending Future

Joey Daccord

Since we’re on the topic of Joey Daccord and he’s the newest face with the organization, we might as well start with him and how he may add to the Ottawa Senators goaltending. Drafted in 2015, Daccord was the Sens last pick of that draft. The 6’2″ 196 pound goalie took awhile to get going in the United States, but it seems he’s finally found his stride. After being drafted, Daccord went onto the USHL to play with the Muskegon Lumberjacks in 2015-16. In 48 games, Daccord finished the year with a 3.10 goals against average and a save percentage of .904.

The next two seasons saw the young goalie play at Arizona State University where he had mediocre seasons. In 2016, he finished with a .892 save percentage with a GAA of 4.03. The year of 2017 saw a slight improvement with a .909 save percentage in 32 games with a 3.51 GAA. But the 2018-19 season was special for Daccord. Daccord finished this year with a 2.35 GAA and a .926 save percentage in 35 games for ASU. He’s gone on to be a Hobey Baker Award finalist in the NCAA also.

With Daccord inking his first professional contract earlier this week, it’s clear the organization sees Daccord as a valuable piece regarding the Senators goaltending future. Whether Daccord has a real shot at becoming an NHL goalie is something we’ll have to follow as time progresses. But with the likes of Filip Gustavsson, another young and upcoming goalie for the Sens, Daccord only adds to the Senators goaltending depth chart.

Filip Gustavsson

Filip Gustavsson is another fascinating player on the goalie depth chart for the Senators organization. Acquired in the Derick Brassard trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Gustavsson is at times seen as one of the best goalies who has yet to crack the NHL for good. A second round pick in the 2016 NHL draft, the Swedish goalie has seen himself play with the Belleville Senators and the Brampton Beast of the ECHL this year. He started in the AHL last season for the Sens, posting a .912 save percentage over his first six games where the 19-year-old had a 3.01 GAA.

This year hasn’t gone all too well for the young goalie prospect. In 31 games for the Belleville Senators, he sits with a 3.38 GAA and a .887 save percentage. He’s also played a total of two games with the Brampton Beast and posted a 5.38 GAA and a .827 save percentage. While Gustavsson is only 20-years-old still, this season has been one he would probably like to move on from. Another reason why he hasn’t been relied on too heavily for Belleville down the stretch is because of starter Marcus Hogberg.

Gustavsson is still extremely young and should not be frowned upon just yet. He still has a very strong chance at enhancing the Senators goaltending depth in the future. With a move or two to possibly be made in between the pipes this off-season, Gustavsson might finally be a full time AHL starter next year. With another year under his belt and experience gained, he might just perform at the level he’s expected to. All of this to say that Gustavsson is still an integral part of the team’s goaltending depth.

Marcus Hogberg

Marcus Hogberg is most likely the goalie on the depth chart who’s ready to graduate after this year. Since 2013, Hogberg spent the majority of his time in Sweden before coming over to North America in 2018. The 24-year-old is currently on fire with the Belleville Senators down in the AHL. Besides their strong core of rookies in Belleville, Hogberg might be the number one reason why the team is in a playoff spot right now. He currently sits with a .917 save percentage and a 2.31 GAA in 33 games played. Not only is he helping out the team to a playoff berth, this might be Hogberg’s last shot at proving he can be something. Although goalies do take longer to develop, Marcus is already 24.

He’s set to become an RFA after this year and his play should give him another contract in the off-season. At least that’s what should be done. While he seems like an important piece for the Senators, time is running out on the Swedish goaltender. With a strong AHL post-season, Hogberg could be a full time backup goalie next year for the Senators. It’s very positive to see his numbers at the AHL level, but he’ll have to be tested in the show eventually. And it seems like that’s very likely to happen next season.

The Senators goaltending used to be thin for depth before, but it doesn’t seem that way any longer. With three talented goalies in their pipeline, you’d hope one becomes a legitimate NHL starter in the future. Marcus Hogberg might just be one.

Senators Goaltending Future Could Be Bright

The Ottawa Senators goaltending picture seems to be brighter than it was years ago. Nonetheless, there is still work that needs to be done. Veteran net minder Craig Anderson still has a year left after this season, and that can be looked at from two different angles.

One on hand, it might give the young goalies more time to develop, which is never a bad thing. But from a different perspective, it might limit the starts the youngsters get even though they might be ready. The most realistic plan going into 2019-2020 for the Senators goaltending might be the following.

2019-2020 Projected NHL/AHL starters

NHL: Anderson – Hogberg

AHL: Gustavsson – Daccord

While it’s unlikely the Sens trade Anderson this off-season, he’s most likely set to retire after next year. But look for his starts to diminish. As mentioned, Hogberg will need to be challenged next year at the NHL level. By him starting in a backup role, the Sens will have to eventually play him once Andy gets tired. If Anderson has a sluggish start, look for Hogberg to maybe be a full time starter. On a team that will still be quite bad, you have nothing to lose by starting the youngster in Hogberg more than Anderson.

As for the AHL, Gustavsson will be heavily relied on considering Hogberg will be a graduate. The young goalie will look to improve his play and hopefully be ready for a potential call-up throughout the year. Daccord will likely get some starts in but he’ll be looking to get his feet wet for the most part. Although he’ll be someone to watch closely as his deal expires in 2020, there could be more potential leeway for Daccord as opposed to Gustavsson.

The Ottawa Senators goaltending depth chart had it’s years of not being great for quite awhile. But now, that seems like a thing of the past. With the likes of these three goalies, the organization hopes that all three bring something to their rebuild and future core.

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