The Columbus Blue Jackets activated center Alexandre Texier from Injured Reserve, per NHL.com. The 45th overall selection of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, Texier appeared in 36 games for the Blue Jackets this season, notching 13 points (6 goals, 7 assists).
Texier, 20, had his season cut short due to a lumbar stress fracture suffered in a December game against the Panthers. He’ll presumably take the ice when Columbus confronts the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup Qualifier. As the number 9 seed, the Blue Jackets will be slight underdogs in the five-game series with 8-seeded Toronto. Assuming Texier is back to full strength, he figures to see some time on the fourth line between Eric Robinson and Devin Shore, though in these uncertain times, there’s very little lineup certainty until the puck hits the ice.
Coach John Tortorella looks to lead the Blue Jackets back to the playoffs for the fourth consecutive season since he took over the bench. Last season was the worst regular-season record in Tortorella’s three full seasons helming the club, but they finally got over the first-round hump in a big way with a surprise sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning. Texier made his NHL debut late last season, even earning ice time in the postseason. He notched 11:25 ATOI, highlighted by scoring a pair of goals in the 7-3 series clincher versus Tampa Bay.