Chris Bourque, four others agree to terms with Bridgeport

JustSports Photography

The Bridgeport Sound Tigers announced today that they have agreed to terms on American Hockey League contracts with forwards Chris Bourque, Ryan Bourque, Ben Holmstrom and Connor Jones, as well as goaltender Jeremy Smith.

Last season, Bourque skated in 64 regular-season games for the Hershey Bears, tallying 17 goals and 36 assists for 53 points. He also represented the United States at the 2018 Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Bourque, 32, ranks tied for 24th on the AHL’s all-time scoring list with 692 points — including 236 goals and 456 assists (15th all-time) — with Hershey (2005-10, 11-12, 15-18), Hartford (2014-15), Providence (2012-13) and Portland (2004-05).

Entering his 14th pro season in 2018-19, Bourque won AHL MVP honors in 2015-16 and has captured two scoring titles (2011-12, 2015-16), three Calder Cup championships (2006, 2009, 2010) and one postseason MVP award (2010).

Bourque has also played in a record-tying six AHL All-Star Classics (2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), and has been named a First Team AHL All-Star three times.

In addition to his regular-season scoring, Bourque is the AHL’s all-time leader in playoff assists (82) and ranks fourth in points (117) and second in games played (133) in Calder Cup Playoff history.

Originally a second-round draft choice by Washington in 2004, Bourque has recorded two goals and six assists in 51 career NHL games with Washington, Pittsburgh and Boston.

Photo: Chris Rutsch

Ryan Bourque, 27, ranked fifth on the Sound Tigers in scoring last season with 34 points (12 goals, 22 assists) in 75 games. He was fourth on the team in goals and finished second with a plus-10 rating.

Bourque will be teammates with his older brother Chris for the third time in their pro careers, following stints together in Hartford (2014-15) and Hershey (2015-17). Ryan has appeared in 472 career AHL games with Bridgeport, Hershey and Hartford/Connecticut, totaling 74 goals and 101 assists for 175 points.

Bourque also has four goals and five assists in 47 postseason games, helping the Bears reach the Calder Cup Finals in 2016.

A third-round draft choice by the New York Rangers in 2009, Bourque has appeared in one career NHL game, with the Rangers in 2014-15.

Puck Stopper Photography

Holmstrom, 31, has served as Bridgeport’s captain since 2015. He posted 11 goals and 10 assists for 21 points in 76 games with the Sound Tigers last season, his third consecutive year without missing a game; Holmstrom’s 228 consecutive regular-season games played is the longest current streak in the AHL.

Entering his ninth pro season in 2018-19, Holmstrom has skated in 546 regular-season games with Bridgeport, Charlotte and Adirondack, collecting 76 goals and 127 assists for 203 points.

Undrafted out of UMass-Lowell, Holmstrom has played seven NHL games with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Puck Stopper Photography

Jones, 27, scored a career-high eight goals and added nine assists for 17 points in 68 games with Bridgeport last season.

A fifth-year pro out of nearby Quinnipiac University, Jones enters his fourth season with the Sound Tigers having played 223 career AHL games for Bridgeport and Oklahoma City, totaling 23 goals and 36 assists for 59 points.

Jones made his NHL debut with the New York Islanders in 2016-17, appearing in four games.

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Smith, 29, played 30 games with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers last season and went 13-13-1 with a 2.71 goals-against average and a .902 save percentage.

Smith has played 295 games in his AHL career with Charlotte, San Antonio, Iowa, Providence, Springfield and Milwaukee, posting a record of 145-111-21 with a 2.45 GAA, a .916 save percentage and 13 shutouts.

A second-round draft choice by Nashville in 2007, Smith has appeared in 10 NHL games, all with Colorado in 2016-17.