Montreal Canadiens Sign Alexander Romanov

Alexander Romanov
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JANUARY 31, 2019: CSKA Moscow's Alexander Romanov celebrates after scoring in the 2018/19 KHL Regular Season ice hockey match between CSKA Moscow and Ak Bars Kazan at CSKA Arena. Sergei Savostyanov/TASS (Photo by Sergei SavostyanovTASS via Getty Images)

The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenceman Alexander Romanov to a three-year entry-level deal. The 20-year-old was playing with CSKA Moscow in Russia’s KHL but with that league cancelling play, he seized the chance to play in North America. Due to the NHL season currently being on pause, the start date of the contract has yet to be determined.

 

Canadiens Sign Alexander Romanov

The Canadiens originally drafted Romanov in the second round of the 2018 draft. He has been playing in Moscow since that time. His role with CSKA has been small; he only has one goal and 11 points in 86 games but those numbers are fine for a young player competing in Russia’s NHL equivalent. Romanov has better numbers on the international stage with one goal and six points in seven games in the most recent World Juniors U20 tournament.

The 5’11” Romanov stands out as a puck-mover. He combines solid skating with good passing ability to help drive offence. Romanov also has a good shot at his age but there is room for improvement. He grades as a good defender with his speed but he will need some seasoning to handle the combination of size and speed found in the modern NHL.

What to Expect from Romanov

This is an excellent signing for Montreal. They spent a reasonably high draft pick on the young Russian hoping he can be a top blueliner soon. That might be asking a lot from someone who hasn’t played a game in North America yet but young players contribute more now than they ever have before. The biggest obstacle in Romanov’s way is Montreal’s current blueline. The top four are under contract for at least the next year. Romanov would need an outstanding camp to break into that level. However, Montreal likes this player enough they could trade someone to make room. Romanov will be a big factor in the team’s near-future as they prepare for a Stanley Cup run.

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