When better to truly announce yourself to the hockey world than the playoffs? Just ask Alexandre Texier - he knows the feeling.
On Friday night, following the league's announcement of the finalization of the return-to-play plans for the 2019-2020 season, the Columbus Blue Jackets put out their list of players attending their training camp this upcoming Monday. Lo and behold, too, 2018 first-round-pick Liam Foudy has been placed into Group 1, also known as players that are the "regulars".
Foudy played in two games with the Blue Jackets this past regular season, tallying three shots and an assist with just over 14 minutes of ice time, similar to that of Texier from just a year ago.
Texier was a late-season call-up as well and joined Columbus for their final two games on the year, and made himself known in the playoffs with two goals in Game 4 against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Now, Foudy has the chance to do the same. No pressure, right?
Here's the full list of skaters for each group this upcoming Monday:
Cam Atkinson, Emil Bemstrom, Oliver Bjorkstrand, Pierre-Luc Dubois, Nick Foligno, Liam Foudy, Boone Jenner, Riley Nash, Gus Nyquist, Eric Robinson, Alexandre Texier, Alexander Wennberg
Vladislav Gavrikov, Scott Harrington, Seth Jones, Dean Kukan, Ryan Murray, Markus Nutivaara, David Savard, Zach Werenski
Joonas Korpisalo, Elvis Merzlikins
Nathan Gerbe, Ryan MacInnis, Stefan Matteau, Kole Sherwood, Devin Shore, Kevin Stenlund
Gabriel Carlsson, Adam Clendening, Andrew Peeke
Matiss Kivlenieks, Veini Vehvilainen
Some surprises here and there, as expected with John Tortorella, with who is in which group. Foudy in Group 1, not too much of a head-scratcher there - but Robinson over the likes of Stenlund, Shore and Gerbe is worth a double-take. Now, those three are all centerman, though, and with the ability to have Dubois, Foudy, Jenner, Texier and Wennberg all play that position, it does make sense that Robinson, a speedy winger, jumps into the first group.
The defenseman groups and goaltender groups all look solid as well. One could make an argument for Peeke over Harrington, but if there's any player that needs experience come playoff time, it's likely those that play on the blue line.
Group 1, consisting of 22 players, will practice on Monday at the Ice Haus connected to Nationwide Arena at 1 p.m., with Group 2, consisting of 11 players, skating at 4 p.m. As you may have guessed, all practices during camp are closed to the public.
What are your thoughts on each group? Who should be shifted up or down?
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