It’s no secret that the Tricolore’s defensive brigade has long been a troublesome area, and since Andrei Markov, the left side has had very little to offer. A glimmer of hope appeared when young Victor Mete came along with the big club. But with a weak offensive contribution and an excess of defencemen no 5 and no 6, Mete may not be the quarterback we had hoped for. Until Marc Bergevin hit a home run.
On February 26, 2016, Sainte-Flanelle’s general manager sent Dale Weise and Tomas Fleischmann to Chicago in return for Quebec centerman Phillip Danault and a second round pick in the 2018 draft. This is arguably one of the biggest steals of Marc Bergevin’s career. Danault would become an important player for the Tricolore and the second round draft pick would be Alexander Romanov. The left-handed defenceman will be selected 38th overall. Montreal fans will have to wait until the 2019 World Junior Championships to see their young defenceman in action. And good Lord has he delivered the goods! Romanov wins the award for best defenceman of the tournament with 10 points in 15 games.
But it wasn’t the defenceman’s offensive play that caught the attention. It is the size of the young Russian who impresses the hockey world. As from his first skate in Montreal, Romanov welcomes his future teammate with a solid body check during practice. The video will tour a lot on social networks, but it will eventually be deleted by the Canadiens.
The key thing to remember about Alexander Romanov is the physical and defensive aspect that he will bring to the blue line. A bit like a certain Alexei Emelin. Opposing forwards will have to keep their heads up if they don’t want to have headaches the next morning. I can’t wait until Wednesday night to see the rookie blue-liner!
Translated by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert