In this edition of Montreal Canadiens News & Rumors, I’ll check in on three key Canadiens’ prospects – Russian Alexander Romanov, Czech Jan Mysak, and American Cole Caufield.
Item One: Canadiens Have High Hopes for Young Defenseman Alexander Romanov
At least one Canadiens’ coach believes that Alexander Romanov can crack the team’s roster out of training camp and might even be able to have an immediate impact at the NHL level. That coach should know what he’s talking about, being a defenseman in the NHL for 21 seasons himself. Earlier this week, assistant coach Luke Richardson reported about Romanov.
“Obviously we have to let him have a chance to come in and earn that spot and prove it, but it’s there for him to do that.”
Richardson added: “We’ve evaluated players before and you’ve seen them come out of the World Juniors as stars and do very well in the NHL, so we’re expecting nothing less than that for Romanov.”
According to Richardson, who should know, Romanov has “that electricity in his game.”
The 20-year-old Romanov was named the best defenseman at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship – scoring eight points (one goal, seven assists) in seven games to help Team Russia earn the Bronze Medal. The young Russian also registered a goal and five assists in seven games at the 2020 WJC and made the tournament all-star team after helping Team Russia win the Silver Medal.
When his coaches are already suggesting his success, there’s probably a good chance Romanov will be competing for a job. He could start on the team’s third defensive pairing at the beginning of the season, but almost everyone in the know suggests he has greater potential and could earn a larger role when he becomes acclimated to the NHL game.
He’s a youngster to watch out for.
Item Two: Jan Mysak’s Been Invited to Take Part in Team Czech Republic’s Selection Camp
Jan Mysak has been invited to Team Czech Republic’s selection camp in preparation for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship. The 18-year-old Mysak was chosen during the second round (48th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft by the Canadiens.
Last season, he played at the 2020 World Juniors with a Czech team that finished seventh. He ended that tournament with a goal and an assist in five games. Last season, he split time between Litvinov HC in the Czech League and the OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs where he scored 15 goals and 10 assists (25 points) in 22 games.
Mysak was one of 42 players asked to be a part in the team’s selection camp in preparation for the 2021 World Junior Championship, which takes place from December 25 – January 5 at Rogers Place in Edmonton.
Item Three: Cole Caufield’s Six-Game Scoring Steak Ended, But He Starts a New One
Against Arizona State University on Saturday night in an 8-5 loss to the Sun Devils (what a name for a hockey team), Cole Caufield finally put up a Zero. That ended his six-game scoring streak. However, he came back with an assist the following Sunday. Although he had an assist in his weekend series, that’s certainly not up to par for the youngster.
Caufield was the Canadiens’ first-round pick (15th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Caufield’s not much for size – he’s 5-foot-7 and 162 pounds; however, he’s a scorer. So far this NCAA season, he’s put up four goals and 10 points in eight games. He has a great shot, and the Canadiens are certainly looking forward to having him on their team.
There’s a rumor that he might even turn pro after this NCAA season, which is his second with the University of Wisconsin Badgers. (from “Cole Caufield held in check as Arizona State sweeps Wisconsin,” Pat Hickey, Montreal Gazette, 30/11/20).
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