Lightning reward F Yanni Gourde with 6-year, $31M deal

The Lightning have re-signed forward Yanni Gourde to a 6-year contract with a $5.166-million average annual value, team vice president and GM Julien BriseBois announced Friday.

Gourde, 26, has four goals in 12 games this season and is tied for second on the team for points (12) and paces the team for assists with eight. He’s also tied for the team lead in power-play goals (three) and game-winning goals (two).

“Yanni personifies our team’s identity with his speed and relentlessness on the ice and his strong character off of it,” BriseBois said in a statement. “He is proof of how far hard work and dedication can take you, and we look forward to him continuing his career in Tampa Bay.”

Gourde went undrafted and was acquired by the Lightning in March 2014.

Since then, the Saint-Narcisse, Quebec, native has appeared in 116 NHL games over four seasons but set career highs for games played (82), goals (25), assists (39) and points (64) last season. He set the Lightning rookie record for goals and points in a season in 2017-18 and his points total ranked third among all NHL rookies.

Gourde also paced the team and ranked tied for third in the NHL with a plus-34 rating.

He played in all 17 Stanley Cup playoff games in 2018 and had a pair of goals and seven points.