News broke late Monday morning that the Winnipeg Jets have signed forward Gabriel Bourque to a one-year, two-way deal worth $700,000. Bourque played for the Colorado Avalanche in 2018-19. Winnipeg announced the deal via their official Twitter account.
#NHLJets have agreed to terms with forward Gabriel Bourque on a one-year, two-way contract with an AAV of $700,000 in the NHL.
Bourque played in his eighth NHL season and his third with Colorado in 2018-19 and had eight points in 55 games.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) August 26, 2019
Winnipeg Jets Sign Gabriel Bourque
The 5’10” Bourque was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 2009 NHL Draft. He played five seasons with the Preds before joining Colorado for the 2016-17 season. He became a free agent this summer after his third year with the Avs.
Bourque played in 55 games in 2018-19, contributing two goals and eight points while averaging 9:44 of ice time. This was a career-low for Bourque, as he’d never dropped below 10:54 in any of his previous seasons. His playing time dropped each year with Colorado and he wasn’t scoring at all like he did with Nashville; 78 of his 97 career points came with the Predators. His best feature at this point is his willingness to check, having posted over 100 hits each of the past two years.
Bourque advanced stats are no more impressive than his traditional ones. He sports a career Corsi of just 47.1% and a relative mark of -3.3. Bourque is mostly terrible when it comes to keeping opponents from the puck. He was third-worst on Colorado in terms of possession and the worst of any player that skated in at least 10 games.
What This Means For the Future
This is purely a move to acquire experienced depth. Bourque doesn’t have the offensive skills to unseat someone on Winnipeg’s bottom-six at this point. What he does have is eight years of NHL experience, all in the Central Division. That will get him some ice time if someone else needs a rest. His experience will help educate some of the Jets’ younger players like Mason Appleton and Kristian Vesalainen. Bourque’s contract also doesn’t take up much cap space, which is central to Winnipeg’s efforts to sign their young stars to new deals.