Newly acquired Seattle Kraken forward Yanni Gourde is set to miss the start of the 2021-22 season after undergoing shoulder surgery this week. TVA sports reporter, Renaud Lavoie, broke the news of Gourde’s injury during the expansion draft.
Yanni Gourde is now a @SeattleKraken but don’t expect him to start the season with the team. He had a shoulder surgery this week and could be back somewhere in November if everything goes according to plan.
— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) July 22, 2021
Yanni Gourde’s Injury Leaves Him Unavailable to Start 2021-22
What caused Gourde’s injury is yet to be disclosed but it was likely the result of general wear and tear that his body has gone through during a second consecutive Stanley Cup campaign. Early rumblings have him set to miss at least the first month of the Kraken’s inaugural season in the NHL.
Gourde joins the Kraken after a stellar six-year career with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Originally undrafted, despite a QMJHL scoring title, Gourde has scored 80 goals and 187 points in 310 NHL career games. In the past four years, he has tallied at least 10 goals and 30 points in each.
Last season, the 29-year-old centreman headlined one of the Lightning’s most effective lines. Alongside Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman, Gourde dominated opponents on the ice; Tampa’s tenacious third line had a huge majority in Corsi percentage (60.89 percent), expected goal share (60.42 percent) and high-danger chance share (60.27 percent) at five-on-five.
What This Means Going Forward
Yanni Gourde’s injury is certainly a setback for the Kraken who will be looking to start their season with plenty of wins. So far, Gourde tops the list of centres currently on the books in Seattle. But that isn’t necessarily going to remain the case.
With almost $29 million in projected cap space, the Kraken have plenty of money to make blockbuster trades and shop free-agency. Gourde is a fine centre for the top-six but probably won’t settle on Seattle’s first line.
The Kraken selected Gourde during their inaugural draft, preferring him to other Lightning options like Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn and Callan Foote. A third-line mainstay in Tampa, the centreman gets an obvious promotion into the top six on his new team.
*Projected Seattle Kraken cap courtesy of Cap Friendly.