Alexandre Texier has made quite an impression for himself in four games with the Cleveland Monsters.
The Blue Jackets prospect, who came to AHL Cleveland after an impressive season with KalPa of the Liiga, Finland's top professional league, scored in all three games this weekend for the Monsters, as they went 3-0-0 and are now in a playoff position.
The 19-year old Frenchman was held without a point in his AHL debut, but has been prevalent on the scoresheet in the three games since. On Friday night, he scored his first AHL goal on a one-timer on the power play, and followed that up with a three-point game in his third career AHL game.
On Sunday, he scored again, as the Monsters climbed into a playoff spot.
Texier has more in his toolbox than being just a goal scorer, and has added two assists. It's an incredibly small sample size, but his 1.25 points/game is tops on the Monsters.
His creativity is something that separates him from his peers. The below video evidences that, and it didn't even result in a goal.
Nice play from #CBJ Alexandre Texier (#13 here) behind the net to get the puck to Zac Dalpe for a scoring chance. Texier started this game (his first AHL game) on the second line but was quickly moved up to the top unit with Dalpe and rookie Derek Barach. pic.twitter.com/vqrPpr7jf8— Jeremy Crowe (@307x) March 21, 2019
It's safe to say that Texier has exceeded expectations in his limited showing in Cleveland this season. The obvious question now is: should Texier be called up by the Blue Jackets, who could use a spark for their anemic offense.
It's the kind of question that wouldn't have even been remotely considered a few weeks ago, when Matt Duchene and Ryan Dzingel were brought in to supplement an already-strong lineup with a formidable top line and plenty of depth scoring.
But after showing well at the AHL level (consider: Eric Robinson is on the NHL roster with much less impressive point-producing statistics), it's a question at least worth asking. Obviously, Texier's AHL career is an incredibly limited sample size, and Blue Jackets brass will almost certainly choose to keep Texier playing in the AHL. The Monsters are in a playoff race of their own, and it's not in their interest to overwhelm the kid. Still, Blue Jackets management knows it's 100% more important for the big club to make the playoffs than their AHL affiliate, and if they believe Texier can help the Blue Jackets, he'll be in Columbus.
#CBJ prospect @atexier99, who made his North American pro debut on Mar. 16, with a nice weekend for @monstershockey as he posted goals on three-straight days (3-2-5). Cleveland won all three contests and now sit in a playoff spot in the #AHL Eastern Conference.— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) March 24, 2019
Texier has exceeded expectations continually since being drafted by Columbus with the 45th pick in the 2017 draft. Most likely, Texier was expected to play in Liiga for a few years before coming to the AHL, adjusting to the North American style of play, before having a shot at breaking in with the Blue Jackets.
It appears that schedule has been accelerated. Could he play in Columbus this season? Don't bet on it, but crazier things have happened.
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