The Columbus Blue Jackets have carefully watched the development of one of their prospects from afar, but will now finally be able to get him into their organization. Alexandre Texier’s season has ended in Finland, and Brian Hedger of the Columbus Dispatch reports that the young forward will be joining the Cleveland Monsters on Friday. The Monsters play on Friday and Saturday in Chicago and Rockford against the Wolves and IceHogs respectively. It’s not clear if Texier will be in the lineup for either game.
With two goals and three points in his final game of the season, Texier finishes with an impressive 41 points in 55 games this season for KalPa. That was enough to lead his squad despite his young age, and make for an exciting entrance to North American hockey. Selected 45th overall in 2017, there were some who believed Texier should have gone even higher. The French forward is still just 19 but signed his entry-level deal with the Blue Jackets last spring. Hedger spoke with Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen about the young prospect:
For that age, to do that in that league is special. That’s why he was one of those prospects that under no circumstances was going to be moved at the deadline.
It’s clear that the Blue Jackets gave up some future assets at the deadline for a chance to compete this season, but with Texier and others there is still a substantial prospect pool in Columbus. Other names like Liam Foudy, Emil Bemstrom and Andrew Peeke are still on the way, not to mention Elvis Merzlikins who very well could be the starting goaltender for the Blue Jackets next season.
For a team that could potentially see Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene, Sergei Bobrovsky and Ryan Dzingel all walk in free agency this summer, the development of players like Texier is imperative. He’ll take the next step by getting into some AHL action, and see if he can bring the same type of offensive flair to the North American ice.