Columbus Blue Jackets Draft Profile: Alexandre Texier

CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: Alexandre Texier poses for a portrait after being selected 45th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 24: Alexandre Texier poses for a portrait after being selected 45th overall by the Columbus Blue Jackets during the 2017 NHL Draft at the United Center on June 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Columbus Blue Jackets made a big move in the 2nd Round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Giving up a top prospect, they moved into the 45th pick to draft Alexandre Texier.

In a big move early on Saturday of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets showed they are always ready to make a deal. Jarmo didn’t shy away and shipped off a top prospect in Keegan Kolesar to acquire the 45th overall pick from the Vegas Golden Knights.

The second trade in three days with the NHL’s newest franchise was for a player the front office coveted. Jarmo in an interview following the pick said that if the Jackets had their 24th overall pick and he was availible there, the Jackets would have taken Texier.

TSN Report. Pick Analysis. Center. Grenoble. Alexandre Texier. 45. player. 113

High praise for a 17-year-old that has not play in a competitive league ever. Texier played in France’s top league last season which is on the low end of European leagues.

That said, he still was 17 playing against grown men. The sharp skating center posted 19 points in 40 regular season games. His playoff numbers jumped to 10 points in 12 games.

The French Phenom

The 17-year-old becomes the highest player ever taken from France’s top professional league. He impressed many in his play in the World Championships for Team France, albeit against the second tier teams.

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Alexander is averaged size and doesn’t project to grow much larger than what he is currently. At six feet tall and 175 pounds, he will likely bulk up to an average NHL height and weight.

The young center posses incredible hands and handles the puck with speed and grace. There is rarely a moment where he looks flustered carrying the puck.

This also could be because he can skate by most defenders. Texier has blazing, top-end speed. The type of speed you are born with when touched by the hands of the hockey gods.

This kid has serious speed which is more important than ever in today’s NHL. Along with his speed, he has fantastic instincts on how to handle odd man rushes. Texier is a natural when it comes to taking advantage of those prime scoring opportunities. This is something the Jackets failed at this season and are clearly looking to improve.

Texier has recently turned his great hands and puck possession into an ability to score regularly. In a game against Djion this season Texier notched a hat trick. It seems as though the only way Texier can not score right now is getting dirty in front of the net and banging home pucks. He has time though to mature and add much needed muscle to stand up and score in those areas.

But being one of the youngest players available in the draft has it’s advantages. That advantage is time. Texier will certainly have time to mature and before the CBJ come calling.

That’s Nice But…

All these things sound wonderful and are factually accurate. But what is also accurate is that all of this was done in the French Elite League.

The French Elite League isn’t garbage. But if it’s not garbage it’s a compost pile. Mostly junk that smells but if you wait long enough and look away, something good might come out of it 15 years later.

He will certainly need to bulk up before he makes the jump to any league outside of France. His body has a long way to go before he is NHL ready. Texier will also need to improve his defensive play. Especially considering who the head coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets is.

Texier will certainly need to see how his blazing speed and phenomenal puck skills stand up to getting rocked into the boards every night by much larger men than in France. What is going to happen when he has to kill penalties or grind away on a fourth line.

These are difficult questions but one’s that needed to be ask. I have a deep trust and faith in Jarmo but this pick, especially for the price, is befuddling.

The high end for Texier is a top 2 center on the team. 50-60 points ideally as he skates past everyone in the Metro Divison. The more likely scenario is that he is a top notch AHLer and frequents I-71 as he makes trips to Columbus to fill in when needed.

Texier’s Next Step

The young Frenchman has many options available to him as he looks towards making the next step in his hockey career. In an interview following his selection he noted that he was looking forward to the CHL’s import draft, which starts on June 28th. He also noted that he is looking at playing in Finland or Sweden.

Either way, this young center will not be in France next year which is ideal for his development. I firmly believe Texier will end up in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League next season. He needs to get on North American Ice as soon as possible and see if his sharp hands and great skating ability will translate to smaller ice. Also it would be the start of a nice transition to life away from Europe going to the QMJHL where he speaks the same language.

Speed and scoring are always a need in the NHL. Alexandre Texier has those valuable skills, but will his size and past competition hold him back? Let’s get this kid to North America and see if that speed plays as well as it did in Europe.

Congratulations to you Monsieur Texier! Bienvenue a Columbus!

Next: Gavrikov Chooses Russia & Olympics over CBJ