After missing the end of last season due to personal reasons, Blue Jackets forward Alexandre Texier is expected to be back with the team in training camp, GM Jarmo Kekalainen indicated in a press conference today (video link). The 22-year-old had a strong first half of the season, picking up 20 points (a new career-high) in 36 games before suffering a fractured finger in late January and then being granted an indefinite leave of absence back in March. Texier will be entering the final year of his contract next season and will be a restricted free agent next summer with a qualifying offer of $1.75MM so there will be a lot riding on his performance in 2022-23.
Elsewhere around the hockey world:
- The Panthers are set to hire Jamie Kompon as an assistant coach, reports Fox Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland (Twitter link). The 55-year-old is no stranger to working behind an NHL bench having been an NHL assistant for all but two years dating back to 1997; those two years when he wasn’t in the NHL came when he was the head coach of WHL Portland. Kompon had spent the last six seasons with Winnipeg, working with Paul Maurice for most of that time so Maurice will have someone he’s quite familiar with as he embarks on his first season at the helm in Florida.
- The Devils were among the teams aggressively pursuing Matthew Tkachuk before he was eventually traded to Florida late Friday, notes TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie (Twitter link). New Jersey was expected to once again make a big splash this summer a year after handing out the biggest UFA contract to Dougie Hamilton but instead, they’ve largely opted to go with trades to add to their roster, making a trio of deals so far while Ondrej Palat received a five-year contract in free agency.
- Blackhawks prospect Jake Wise has opted to return to Ohio State for his fifth and final college season, relays Ben Pope of the Chicago Sun-Times. As a result, Chicago will retain the rights to the 22-year-old center. Wise, a 2018 third-round selection, had more points with Ohio State last season (28) than his first three with Boston University combined (17), and a similarly strong showing in 2022-23 might be enough to help him earn an entry-level deal.