The Columbus Blue Jackets are in a battle for a playoff spot with just two games remaining, and have brought up some reinforcements for the final stretch. Adam Clendening has returned from the AHL after just a day, but perhaps more importantly Alexandre Texier has been recalled for the first time. The 19-year old forward has lit up the minor leagues since coming over from Finland after his season there concluded, and presumably will enter the lineup at some point over the next two games. Otherwise it’s tough to explain the recall, since the Cleveland Monsters are in the thick of a playoff race of their own and have two road games coming up on Friday and Saturday.
Aaron Portzline of The Athletic reports that Texier will wear number 42 with the Blue Jackets, and could become just the 12th French-born player to ever suit up in an NHL game.
Originally selected 45th overall in 2017, Texier went to Finland to continue his development and performed quite well even as a rookie. This season he returned to KalPa and exploded for 41 points to lead the team, giving the Blue Jackets hope that he could contribute in North America quickly. After being assigned to the Monsters he has scored five goals and seven points in seven games, and will now get a chance to show what he can do at the NHL level.
If Texier plays well and helps the Blue Jackets into the playoffs there’s a chance he could suit up in the postseason, but the team will have to consider what is at risk. As a 19-year old his contract is still set to slide forward a year, meaning he could burn a year by playing in 10 games or more. That number includes playoff matches, which means they would need to win a round for it to become an issue. That too applies to his expansion draft eligibility, which would only become an issue after 11 games played.