Columbus Blue Jackets: Alexandre Texier
Alexandre Texier is said to be coming back to the NHL to play for the Columbus Blue Jackets for the 2023-24 season. The 23-year-old center played last season in Zurich in the Swiss National League to be closer to home. He is under contract for $1.525 million for the upcoming season.
Texier has shown flashes in his brief NHL career of being capable of contributing offensively. With Columbus looking like a black hole for years to come and Texier returning to the NHL this year, it is interesting to think about if the Blue Jackets may take a call on Texier.
He is obviously still a young player and could be a bit of a project for the Devils, but this could be a low-risk, high-reward deal worth making. It is yet to be seen what Texier’s offensive potential is, but the Devils certainly have a forward corps that can help Texier grow into his game and tap into that potential.
New York Rangers: Alexis Lafreniere
This is controversial. Alexis Lafreniere has not had the best start to his NHL career. Does he need a reset? Are the New York Rangers approaching this point yet with the 21-year-old, and would the Rangers trade a player that was so highly touted to their biggest rival?
For the sake of chaos, let’s say this is on the table. If the Rangers were willing to part ways with their 2020 first-overall selection, the Devils would be interested in tapping into some of the potential that Lafreniere is known to possess. The expectations for a top pick are oftentimes impossible to reach early on, and Lafreniere is a prime example of a player drowning in his sky-high expectations.
Through his first 3 NHL seasons, Lafreniere has totaled 47 goals and 91 points, a largely underwhelming number for the former first-overall pick. He has yet to amass a 20-goal or even 40-point season. Lafreniere is still very young and has time to figure out his identity as an NHL player, but that time may be running out in New York City.