If there is one thing that can be said about the Columbus Blue Jackets this season, it is that they are performing above expectations. Most thought they were going to be bottom dwellers, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. Their successes this season have been, in large part, boosted by the play of supporting players. Of those who are playing great in the bottom six, Alexandre Texier stands out among the crowd.
Alexandre Texier Performing Well With Columbus Blue Jackets
Texier, 22, has been in and around the organization for the past three seasons, showing short flashes of significant talent. This talent was shown by head coach Brad Larsen deciding to play him on the top line multiple times at the beginning of this season. Despite his faith in Texier, the role didn’t quite seem to fit that young French forward.
With time and a bit of line shifting, Texier has once again found himself in the bottom six forward corps for the Blue Jackets. From the outside looking in, many would assume this would be a punishment of sorts. The reality of the situation is that Larsen and the Jackets have found the role in which Texier thrives.
Promotion Instead of Demotion
When the coaching staff made the decision to put Texier back into the bottom six, this came with a sigh of relief and improved play. To prove that point, he has been playing right around 16 minutes a game in the last six games. In that ice time, he has shown exactly what he is capable of in the form of two goals and two assists to go with 13 shots on goal and only a single penalty. On the season, he also has a career-high in goals with eight, second on the Jackets roster. He also has four assists on the season. This puts him on pace for 43 points in a full season, a number that would also be a career-high.
These numbers might not wow anyone, but for a player who is still only 22 years old and settling into his game, it is just the sign of progress you want to see. A few points that can bolster that stat line to make it more impressive include zone starts, and possession analytics. Texier only starts 6.2% of his shifts in the offensive zone. This is tied for third-lowest on the Jackets roster and the lowest of any forward. As should be obvious, when you are nearly never starting in the offensive zone, your stats are also going to be lower than the norm.
Some other signs of positive progression in play are possession and shooting stats. Texier is great with the puck, showcased by giveaways. He only has two defensive zone giveaways this season and only four total giveaways overall. On top of that, Texier has taken 75 shots this season, with 44 shots on goal. These are good for tied-fifth and fifth respectively on the roster.
Onward and Upward
Aside from numbers and minutes, Alexandre Texier is performing admirably this season. His play, alongside the rest of the bottom six forward corps, is a big reason that the Jackets are 13-10-0. It is also a big reason they are in the hunt for a wild card spot. It is a safe bet to say that Texier is poised to continue to impress with continued guidance and patience from the coaching staff. He could easily develop into a very, very good top-six forward in the very near future.