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Alexander Romanov Could Get Key Role With Canadiens This Season

Rookie defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens, Alexander Romanov might get more than a good chance to prove himself in the NHL this season.

When asked what the ice time over/under would be for rookie Alexander Romanov in Montreal, Kyle Bukauskus and Eric Engels took the over, thinking Romanov would be used quite a lot. That was just the start of the discussion on the type of impact he could have for the Canadiens this coming season.

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Bukauskus responded to the question about whether or not Romanov would get at least 15 minutes of ice time per game during the 2020-21 NHL season by saying, “I’m going over, I’ll tell you this. I go back a number of years and I remember asking Michel Therrien who was coaching the Canadiens, how much you need to play a rookie in order to make it worth it to keep them around instead of sending them back to the minor or junior?” Therrien responded, ’12.’

Bukauskus admitted that sending Romanov back is not really an option for the Canadiens, but that doesn’t mean a lack of flexibility in a strange season indicates they won’t play him. He added that the average third-pairing defenseman in the NHL at 5-on-5 plays 12 minutes and 15 seconds per game. Saying that’s a big leap to go from that to 15 minutes per game, the way the Canadiens are talking about him, he sees it as a real option. Bukauskus also notes that he believes Romanov will be a key component to the Canadiens penalty kill.

Engels agreed and said it’s one thing for the media to hype up a prospect or a rookie but it’s a completely different thing when the team does it. “Whether it’s management, the coaching staff or the players, they have not been shy about the potential Alexander Romanov has in becoming a star in the NHL.”

Might He Get More Than a Good Opportunity?

Engels pointed out that there are rumblings Romanov might even get the chance to start the season alongside veteran defenseman Shea Weber. If true, that would be massive for both Romanov and the Canadiens who also have Brett Kulak, Ben Chiarot, and Joel Edmundson also on the left side.

Needless to say, Romanov is going to get his opportunities and the idea here is that the Canadiens believe he could be something special. Whether or not his making an impact immediately is essential to their success remains to be seen. That said, that they think he could be a key component for them is telling.

Alexander Romanov Montreal Canadiens defenseman

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