The Seattle Kraken may have selected Yanni Gourde from the Tampa Bay Lightning, but he won’t be in the lineup on opening night. Kraken GM Ron Francis revealed after the draft that Gourde will be out for the start of the season thanks to shoulder surgery he had earlier this week. The expected recovery time is four months, putting him on track to return at some point in November.
A back-to-back Stanley Cup champion, Gourde is one of the most expensive players the Kraken took this evening, with a $5.17MM cap hit that stretches through 2024-25. The 29-year-old forward is expected to be in the mix for the top two center spots when healthy, but the Kraken will need to move forward without him for likely at least a month of the regular season.
That absence should provide even more opportunity to players like Jared McCann and Calle Jarnkrok, though the final Seattle roster is obviously not set. With no side-deals being announced in connection to the draft, you can bet there will be plenty of other transactions coming for the Kraken in the coming days.