The Columbus Blue Jackets re-signed young forward Alexandre Texier today, the team announced. It’s a two-year deal paying a total of $3.05MM, meaning it’s got an average annual value of $1.52MM. Texier was a restricted free agent but did not have arbitration rights.
It was a little over two years ago when Texier made his debut in the NHL, bursting onto the scene after dominating the Finnish league as a teenager. He scored three points in eight games for the Blue Jackets in the 2019 playoffs and hopes were high that he would step directly into a top-six role despite his young age. Instead, Texier averaged fewer than 13 minutes in the 36 games he did get into during the 2019-20 season, moving in and out of the lineup as a fringe roster player. He finished the year with six goals and 13 points, not exactly the rookie campaign that was expected.
Unfortunately, his sophomore year didn’t go much better. The 21-year-old had just four goals and 15 points in 49 games this season for the Blue Jackets despite additional minutes and responsibility. His offensive game hasn’t translated at all, though he did get a chance to play center—rather infrequently—under head coach John Tortorella, who is notorious for not trusting young players in the middle of the ice.
Now as the team heads into a new chapter under head coach Brad Larsen and without several key veterans, it will be up to young players like Texier to take the next step in Columbus. A $1.52MM cap hit isn’t insignificant and should mean he’s in the lineup every night, but it also doesn’t guarantee much else. He’ll have to prove he can contribute more regularly at the offensive end of the rink if he wants more ice time and a bigger contract in 2023.