In his first professional season, Alexander Romanov won the Gagarin Cup with his team, CSKA Moscow. The Tsar didn’t play in the latter part of the playoffs, but was more than happy to celebrate in style with the teammates he played and practised with.
In a season for the ages, Romanov received the award for best defender in the World Junior Hockey Championship while collecting a bronze medal with Team Russia. He played 43 regular-season games with CSKA and has four playoff games to his name. He was injured during the quarter-finals though still served as the seventh defender in the Western conference semifinal series against Dynamo Moscow, and has had the same role during the series against SKA Saint Petersburg and Avangard Omsk.
He has also been part of the Russian national development team for two games and it has been a rapid rise for a young defender whom few really knew anything about a year ago.
Romanov is now one of Montreal Canadiens’ most intriguing prospects, and he will doubtless play an even bigger role for CSKA next season.
The defender faces an important off-season. He will need to get better at almost everything in order to rise through the ranks a CSKA’s team that will be looking to retain the Cup. Romanov would surely like to get into the special teams and a spot higher up in the roster. Swedish defender Klas Dahlbeck was on a one-year contract for this season, and it will be his position in the lineup that Romanov will have to aim for.
With no agreement between the NHL and KHL, along with the fact that the pre-season training starts early in Russia, it is uncertain if the newly minted champion will participate at the development camp in Montreal this summer.