COLUMBUS, OHIO --- The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed center Alexandre Texier to a three-year entry level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.
Texier, 18, registered 13 goals and nine assists for 22 points with 38 penalty minutes and a +5 plus/minus rating, while averaging 13:23 of ice time in 53 games with KalPa of Finland's top professional league (Liiga) in 2017-18. In his first Liiga season, the club's youngest player finished third in goals, fourth-T in game-winning goals (two), fifth-T in power play goals (two), sixth in penalty minutes and ninth in points. He also added 1-1-2 and 25 penalty minutes in six playoff contests.
"Alexandre is a very smart, skilled player with a very good shot and extraordinary vision to make plays all over the ice," said Kekalainen. "He is a young player who had a very good rookie season with KalPa and we are excited to watch his continued development as he gets bigger and stronger physically."
The Grenoble, France native notched 10-9-19 and 69 penalty minutes in 40 games with Grenoble in France's top professional league in 2016-17 and was awarded the Jean-Pierre Graff Trophy as the league's Best Young Player. He added 5-5-10 and 12 penalty minutes in 12 postseason contests to help the club capture the French Cup championship.
Texier was selected by the Blue Jackets in the second round, 45th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft. He has represented France at various international tournaments, including posting 0-3-3 and 10 penalty minutes in seven contests at the recently completed 2018 IIHF World Championships in Denmark. He also skated in the 2017 and 2018 IIHF World Junior Division 1A Championships.