Taylor Dakers played 23 games for the Kootenay Ice in 2004-05 while serving as backup to Ottawa Senators prospect Jeff Glass, one of the top goalies in the WHL the past two seasons. Dakers performed well in his limited action with a .916 save percentage and a 2.03 goals-against average in 23 games for the Ice. Perhaps even more impressive is the fact that Dakers had four shutouts for Kootenay, although Glass did have 8 in his 51 regular season games. As was true in 2003-04, Dakers’ first season in the WHL, the Langley, British Columbia native did not see any action in the 2004-05 playoffs.
5th round (140th overall), 2005
2005-06: Dakers was unable to play at Sharks rookie camp due to what seemed a minor hip injury, but the hip problem caused him to miss Kootenay’s first 18 games. After one game as the backup and an unremarkable 13-save performance in his first game back, Nov. 6, Dakers’ stellar season began in earnest Nov. 10 when he made 27 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Hitmen. He was named the WHL Player of the Week Nov. 21 after making 83 saves on 85 shots in three games the previous week. After returning to the line-up Nov. 4, Dakers started 45 of Kootenay’s remaining 54 games and compiled a 30-15-1 record, winning one game in relief. The Sharks 2005 fifth round draft pick’s .926 save percentage tied him with Calgary’s Justin Pogge for first in the WHL, and his 2.11 goals-against average placed him fifth in the WHL. Dakers also placed third in the WHL with eight shutouts.
2006-07: Dakers asserted himself again this year as another of the deep pool of netminders in the San Jose organization. Despite missing almost a month in the early part of the season, the lanky British Columbia native still managed to improve on career highs, posting top 5 numbers in wins (33), goals against average (2.16), and save percentage (.919) in the WHL. At season’s end, he was named an Eastern Conference second team All-Star and the MVP of his Kootenay team. He led his team to Game 7 of a disappointing first round loss at the hands of the Calgary Hitmen before joining the Sharks to travel with the team during their two-round Stanley Cup playoff run.
2007-08: Dakers split the season between the Worcester Sharks (AHL) and the Phoenix RoadRunners (ECHL). He went 7-11-0 with the Sharks, claiming a 3.13 goals against average and a .889 save percentage, while going 6-7-0 in Phoenix.
CSS cited Dakers for his sound technical skills, good skating and lateral movement, and a quick glove hand. He also has good awareness in net.
San Jose has tended to favor goalies who play a stand-up/butterfly hybrid, like him, do not get rattled, and stay mentally focused. He takes up some space in net and will likely fill out further in the future, giving San Jose another netminder with some size.