Thanks to the 79 readers who submitted ballots in this year’s ranking of Columbus Blue Jackets players under the age of 25. We continue counting down the Top 10 of our rankings today.
#6 Alexandre Texier
6th out of 45 eligible players
Writer Rank: 6th
Reader Rank: 8th
Highest Placement: 2nd (2 votes)
Most Common Placement: 5th (11 votes)
2022 Rank: 7th
Birthdate: September 13, 1999
Birthplace: Grenoble, France
Weight: 194 lbs
Acquired: 2017 2nd Round pick (45th overall) by the Blue Jackets
It has been over a year and a half since we last saw Alexandre Texier suit up for our Columbus Blue Jackets. Last year Texier was granted a leave of absence from the team to remain closer to his family in Europe after tragedy struck. He signed a one-year contract with the ZSC Lions in Switzerland and put up respectable numbers, with 35 points in 46 games, good for third on the team.
Obviously NHL experience would have been the best for him in terms of hockey development, but the Swiss league boasts many former NHL players as well as coaches. Texier played under two bench bosses this year, the latter being former Stanley Cup winning coach, Marc Crawford. So while it wasn’t NHL experience, it definitely was not a wasted year in terms of his growth and development.
More importantly, Texier got back to enjoying the game of hockey. That in itself is going to go a long way.
Management is surely hoping Tex picks up where he left off back in 2021-22 when he was perhaps their best forward. In theory, he should be entering his prime as he will be turning 24, but he will need to quickly re-adjust to the North American style of play. Competition will be very stiff in training camp considering the logjam of forwards. He’s penciled in somewhere in the top nine of most line predictions, usually in a third line role where he can add some needed skill in the bottom six. I’d expect him to get a healthy dose of minutes on the penalty kill as well, where he often excelled as a “power killer.”
After a pretty dismal sophomore season, Tex was evolving into a solid, 200-foot player prior to his broken finger and subsequent departure in 2022, so I think Mike Babcock will love his mix of tenacity, skill and all-around game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him push his way higher in the lineup at points next year.
If everything goes according to plan, we will see the best version of the young Frenchman to date. It could be the perfect situation for Texier to have a career year and earn a healthy pay raise in his next contract.