You better buy the Alexandre Texier stock, because it's rising fast.
After being called up to the Columbus Blue Jackets from the Cleveland Monsters at the tail end of the 2018-2019 season, Texier has made good of his short time in the NHL.
It took Texier just two games to score his first regular-season goal for the club, and in the team's sweep of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the postseason, he tallied three points in four games.
That playoff performance, combined with a strong offseason and training camp, has given Texier the opportunity that no one came close to thinking about in March - a shot at playing on the top forward line.
"You know, he had a real good camp there in Traverse City, and we got a good look at him last year in playoffs," said assistant coach Brad Larsen on Saturday. "Because we saw him last year and because what he's done here, I think he's earned that opportunity to take a look on that top line."
It's no top line to scoff at, either. Flanking Texier on the opposite wing would be Cam Atkinson, recent 41-goal scorer, and Pierre-Luc Dubois, the fastest Blue Jacket to ever hit 100 points in their career. It's a tall task, but one that the coaching staff believes Texier has at least proven he can take a crack at.
"Again, things can change fast. He's a really highly competitive kid, he's got a lot of skill, he can shoot the puck," said Larsen. He snaps the puck on his passes as hard than anyone on this team; there's a lot of great intangibles."
With so much free agency turnover, why not take a risk (if you could even call it that) at seeing what Texier could accomplish with two of the premier forwards on the club? If it's a bust, Texier has at the very least displayed he can hang as a second or third-line winger, as his style bolsters an all-around game.
"He's a very smart player, and that goes with the package of his skill set."– Assistant coach Brad Larsen on Forward Alexandre Texier
You can't just label him as a scorer or great passer; Texier has the gene to do it all.
"'Tex', he's a 200-foot player," concluded Larsen. "When you watch him play, he tracks the puck hard, he's more aggressive for sure as far as (physicality)...he's a very smart player, and that goes with the package of his skill set."
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