Montreal Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin is confident defence prospect Alexander Romanov will be in Montreal next season after visiting with the player in Russia.
“The kid wants to be a Montreal Canadien,” Bergevin said.
Romanov, who turns 20 in January, was a second-round pick by the Canadiens in 2018 and is playing for the KHL’s CSKA Moscow for the second consecutive season. He is also expected to suit up for Russia in the upcoming World Junior Hockey Championships.
In a recent look at Canadiens prospects, Sportsnet’s Eric Engels described Romanov as “a steady, stay-at-home type,” who is also capable of “driving play at the other end of the ice.”
Bergevin met with Romanov and his family in Russia in the first week of December, according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in a recent 31 Thoughts blog. In the same blog, Friedman wondered if the meeting was a chance for Bergevin to better understand what players will be available to his team next season before making any in-season trades this year.
“I watched two games,” Bergevin said of his trip to see Romanov. “I like what I saw. He’s not a player that’s going to run huge numbers, but he’s a player that’s going to close his gap, good first pass.
“I see that translating at the NHL level in time, it shouldn’t be that long. But I see him being in Montreal next year.”
Romanov has yet to sign a contract with the Canadiens and his KHL contract expires at the end of this season.