Alexandre Texier is a hot topic of discussion among the Blue Jackets faithful since the NHL Entry Draft, and rightly so. With the 45th selection of the draft, the Jackets took a relatively unknown commodity out of the French league in Texier. Having played with Grenobles in the top flight, he was able to produce some solid numbers for an 17-year old, with 10 goals and nine assists in 40 games against grown men.
And with Texier and his camp both insisting that he is not returning to France next season, this will give everyone a better opportunity to see for themselves what Jarmo Kekalainen and Co. saw for themselves in scouting Texier.
Last Word on Hockey: Get to know Alexandre Texier
Nic Hendrickson: What would you say is your biggest strength as a player?
Alexandre Texier: I am a center and I am a playmaker, so I like to play with the puck [and create for my teammates].
NH: What do you need to improve on most to push your way into the NHL [with the Blue Jackets]?
AT: I [need to] work on my defensive play. I am good in the offensive zone [and with the puck on my stick] but I need to do the same amount in the defensive zone as well.
NH: What’s it like for a young player playing in a non-traditional hockey market [in France]?
AT: I played for Grenoble. My father played hockey a long time ago.
Quote from draft on playing in France: “It’s great for the French League. I am proud to be from France, a French hockey player, and it’s great for Grenoble, my team.”
NH: Any immediate plans for the future? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
AT: I think playing in Finland or Canada for next season, maybe Finland. Just one or two years [there] and then I’ll play here [in the NHL]. Or maybe one year just for my development, I’ll play with the men’s team in Finland. It is good for me [and my development].
NH: What do you think is going to be the biggest difference between playing in France and playing in the NHL [aside from skill level]?
AT: The difference is going to be fast here. Playing in France, it’s better than what it was five years ago. Now it is 44-45 games [a season] in France, so it’s good. In Canada or Finland, the level of intensity and [in] the defensive zone is better, so it will help me improve.
The Future of Alexandre Texier
By all accounts from the Blue Jackets organization, Texier, and his agent, they fully intend to pursue playing in Finland in the Liiga or coming to Canada to play in the CHL. They did not clarify whether it would be the QMJHL or in Finland, but one would think that, with the language barrier, the QMJHL would be a nice fit for Texier to continue to develop and, as he said, work on his game in the defensive zone.