TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have agreed to terms with free agent forward Yanni Gourde, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced today. Gourde will be on an AHL contract for the remainder of 2013-14 season and a two-way NHL contract for the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
Gourde, 22, has skated in 25 games with the Worcester Sharks of the American Hockey League this season, posting four goals and 25 points to go along with 26 penalty minutes. The 5-foot-9, 170-pound forward ranks first on the Sharks for assists with 21 and ranks third on the club for points. Three of his four goals have been scored on special teams this season, recording a pair of power-play tallies and one shorthanded goal. Gourde has also appeared in 30 games this season with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL, posting 15 goals and 34 points.
The St. Narcisse, Quebec native has played in 83 career AHL games over three seasons, all with Worcester, collecting 13 goals and 42 points. Prior to turning pro, Gourde skated four seasons with the Victoriaville Tigers of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. He led the QMJHL in scoring during his fourth season with Victoriaville in 2011-12, posting 37 goals and 124 points. Gourde was nominated for the Michel-Briere trophy in 2011-12, given annually to the QMJHL's most valuable player.