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Seattle Kraken take Yanni Gourde from Tampa Bay Lightning in expansion draft

Gourde serves as one of at least 14 forwards that the Kraken must take during the Expansion Draft.
Credit: AP
Tampa Bay Lightning center Yanni Gourde (37) follows a play during the first period of Game 5 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals series against the Montreal Canadiens, Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

TAMPA, Fla. — The pick is in.

The Seattle Kraken, the NHL’s newest franchise, has selected Yanni Gourde from the Tampa Bay Lightning to join the team for its inaugural season.

Seattle is in the process of filling out its roster by selecting 30 players from each NHL team – excluding the Vegas Golden Knights, who themselves are a new franchise. Gourde serves as one of at least 14 forwards that the Kraken must take during the Expansion Draft. The team must also select nine defensemen and three goalies; four other roster spots can be of Seattle’s choosing.

Twenty of the players selected tonight must be under contract for the 2021-22 season. And, Seattle must stay below the salary cap of $81.5 million while rounding out its roster.

Gourde was left unprotected by the Lightning ahead of Tuesday’s draft, meaning he was at risk of being selected by Seattle. Each NHL team protected eight skaters and a goalie. The Lightning decided to hold on to captain Steven Stamkos, goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy, Nikita Kucherov, Anthony Cirelli, Brayden Point, Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonaugh and Mikhail Sergachev.

The native of Canada has spent his entire six-year career with the Tampa Bay Lightning, helping the team win back-to-back Stanley Cups. During this year’s playoff run, Gourde had 6 goals and 1 assist.

He has 80 goals and 107 assists in his regular-season career, and 16 goals and 13 assists in his career in the playoffs.

Gourde will turn 30 at the end of the year and is under contract through the 2024-25 season. He’s due $6.3 million next season, with a cap hit of $5.17 million.

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