Despite agreeing to terms on an entry-level contract earlier in the year, Alexander Romanov’s deal did not have a start date as the team was waiting to see if he was eligible to play this year. After plenty of discussion about the status of drafted prospects being able to sign and play in the 2020 post-season, and several changes in protocol, Romanov has decided to join the Montreal Canadiens in Phase 3, and 2019-20 becomes the first of his three-year deal.
Alexander Romanov will join the @CanadiensMTL for phase 3 and 4, sources say. He won’t play (league rules) but he can practice with the team when he will get the green light to do so. You have to expect he’ll signed his deal and burn the first season.— Renaud Lavoie (@renlavoietva) July 13, 2020
Sources say the Canadiens are willing to sign Alexander Romanov and have him burn his first year. The decision now rests with him—quite literally, because it’s 3:40am in Moscow right now.— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) July 13, 2020
One change in the league’s policies was allowing such players (including Kirill Kaprizov and Ilya Sorokin) to travel to the hub cities and practice with their teams, even if they were barred from competing in the qualification round and playoffs. That gives Montreal a chance to see their prospect in action with the rest of the defence corps, and also nets Romanov a signing bonus right away rather than waiting for the start of the next campaign.
UPDATE: The team has made the contract official. The three-year contract (2019-20 to 2021-22) sees Romanov earn $832,500 at the NHL level in each season, with signing and performance bonuses starting in the 2020-21 season. The average annual value of the contract is $1.17 million. He would make $70,000 at the AHL level.