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Lightning lose Yanni Gourde to Seattle in Expansion Draft

Gourde has spent each of his six years in the NHL with Tampa Bay and played an integral role in the Bolts' back-to-back Stanley Cups

by Bryan Burns @BBurnsNHL / TampaBayLightning.com

The Seattle Kraken selected Yanni Gourde from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2021 National Hockey League Expansion Draft on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old center has played parts of six seasons in the NHL, all with the Lightning, compiling 80 goals and 187 points in 310 regular season games. He made his League debut on December 15, 2015 at Toronto, notching an assist.

Gourde finished the 2020-21 regular season with 17 goals and 36 points, ranking tied for second on the Lightning for goals. He played every regular season game for a second-straight season. 

Tweet from @TBLightning: Your heart, passion and energy were unmatched. The last six years would not have been the same without you. Thank you, Yanni. You guys got a good one, @SeattleKraken.💙 pic.twitter.com/RmpjMhKnRm

Gourde was a key member of Tampa Bay's third line centering Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman, that trio pivotal for the Lightning to capture back-to-back Stanley Cups. He scored six goals and added an assist during Tampa Bay's run to a second-straight Stanley Cup in the 2021 Playoffs, scoring the series-clinching goal shorthanded in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Semifinal against the New York Islanders at AMALIE Arena. 

In the 2020 Playoffs, Gourde tallied seven goals and 14 points in 25 games, ranking tied for fourth on the Lightning for goals and fifth for scoring.

Gourde, who went undrafted, was a free agent signing by the Lightning, agreeing to terms on March 9, 2014. He set the Lightning rookie record for goals (25) during his first full NHL season in 2017-18. Gourde signed a six-year, $31 million contract worth $5.166 million annually with Tampa Bay on November 2, 2018.

Seattle begins its first season in the NHL in 2021-22.

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