After missing the last chunk of the season, Alexandre Texier is set to return to competition. The Columbus Blue Jackets announced that Texier will compete for France at the upcoming IIHF World Championship, set to start later this month in Finland. Blue Jackets’ general manager Jarmo Kekalainen released the following statement:
Alexandre Texier reached out to let us know that he was ready to get back on the ice and asked our permission to participate in the World Championships. We were very happy to hear that he is doing well physically and mentally and ready to take this next step in his journey. We are excited that he will be representing France at the World Championships and look forward to his return to the Blue Jackets next season.
Texier, 22, last played on January 26 before missing the rest of the season due to a set of unfortunate circumstances. He broke a finger which took him out of the lineup for more than a month before the team announced in March that he was taking a leave of absence. Stating that Texier had “experienced personal losses of people very close to him,” the Blue Jackets granted the leave to return to Europe and be with his family.
Hopefully, a return to the ice at the Worlds means that Texier will also be ready for training camp later this year and can resume his blossoming NHL career. This was the first season of a two-year contract he signed last summer, which carries a cap hit of $1.525MM. In 36 games before he was injured, Texier managed to tally 11 goals and 20 points, flashing that dazzling speed and skill combination that made him such an appealing prospect.
Of course, there was also some rumbling this season about his availability in trade, though that disappeared quickly when he took his leave. It doesn’t make a ton of sense for the Blue Jackets to move a promising young forward, though they certainly do have the replacements in the pipeline. With names like Cole Sillinger, Yegor Chinakhov, and Kent Johnson all in the fold now, there’s lots of young talent up front in Columbus looking to make an impact.
France will kick off their tournament on May 13 against Slovakia.