The Columbus Blue Jackets drafter Alexandre Texier in the second round of the 2017 NHL entry draft. Two years later, Texier showed North America why he is as coveted prospect.
Forty-eight hours after Liiga’s KalPa season ended, Texier made his North American professional hockey debut on the road in Rockford. He struggled to fit in during that first game with the Cleveland Monsters. You could tell he was a bit tentative on where to go and what to do. Texier’s movements were so calculated and well thought out that he was a step behind everyone else.
However, things dramatically changed after Texier’s debut game. Over the next three games, he tallied three goals and two assists. Texier’s skill level increased with each game. The way he adapted to new linemates, new plays, and hard hits from the opposition was quite impressive.
In post-game presser on March 24th, it was very clear Texier was mentally ready for the NHL.
“I know what I want and I want to play in the NHL. So, you know it’s not very hard for me right now. I just enjoy the time here and try to enjoy the time on the ice.” – Alexandre Texier
A few short weeks later, on April 4th, Texier rightfully earned the call up to the Jackets.
On April 6th, Texier netted his first NHL goal in the Jackets 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators.
It appears this goal was the spark the Jackets needed to help power them to a spot in the playoffs. From this game to the end of the regular season, we saw a Jackets team that was having fun and fairly motivated to finish the regular season strong.
During the first round of the playoffs, Texier put his skills on display. Not only did we see what Texier could do offensively, we were treated to his defensive prowess. The ease with which Texier was able to take pucks away from elite veteran super stars was mind blowing. The way he began to lay hits against bigger guys in the league was thrilling. Simply put, watching Texier play was a breath of fresh air and made watching the Jackets a little bit more exciting.
After the Jackets were booted from the playoffs in the second round by the Boston Bruins, Texier came back to Cleveland for the final playoff game of the season.
Alexandre Texier 2018-19 Regular Season Stats
Games Played : 2 (CBJ) / 7 (CLE)
Goals: 1 (CBJ) / 5 (CLE)
Assists: 0 (CBJ) / 2 (CLE)
Points: 1 (CBJ) / 7 (CLE)
Penalty Minutes : 0 (CBJ)/ 4 (CLE)
Alexandre Texier 2018-19 Playoff Stats
Game Played: 8 (CBJ) / 1 (CLE)
Goals: 2 (CBJ) / 0 (CLE)
Assists: 1 (CBJ) / 0 (CLE)
Points: 3 (CBJ) / 0 (CLE)
Penalty Minutes: 2 (CBJ) / 2 (CLE)
The pinnacle of Texier’s career game in game four of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Texier set the tone for the Blue Jackets by scoring the opening goal just 2:26 into the game. He then capped his night with an empty net goal with 1:34 left in the game.
Sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning wasn’t just historical and monumental for the Jackets. Game four held two big milestones for Texier, first professional playoff goal and first professional multi-point game in the playoffs.
Texier was not prepared for the level of aggression and tom foolery the Boston Bruins brought to the table. This caused Texier to make some key mistakes during the series because he was overthinking everything. As well as, getting out muscled at every turn.
If we are being honest here, most of the Blue Jackets were not prepared for the Bruins either.
Hopefully, during the offseason, Texier will work on being able to go toe-to-toe with more aggressively annoying players. Plus, bulking up a bit this summer would do Texier some good.