Newly signed Alexander Romanov ineligible for Canadiens’ play-in series vs. Penguins

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Top D-man at 2019 world juniors won KHL’s Gagarin Cup in same year with CSKA Moscow

Russian defenceman Alexander Romanov, whom the Canadiens have signed to a two-way contract, is eligible to join his new team at training camp for Phase 3 of the NHL's return-to-play plan but not able to play in Montreal's qualifying-round series against Pittsburgh. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press/File)

Russian defenceman Alexander Romanov, whom the Canadiens have signed to a two-way contract, is eligible to join his new team at training camp for Phase 3 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan but not able to play in Montreal’s qualifying-round series against Pittsburgh. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press/File)

The Canadian Press

The Montreal Canadiens have signed defenceman Alexander Romanov to a three-year entry-level contract.

Romanov will earn $832,500 US 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 US. He is set to make $70,000 per season at the American Hockey League level.

Romanov will be eligible to join his new team at training camp for Phase 3 of the NHL’s return-to-play plan. He will have to undergo a quarantine of seven days before taking part in the camp.

He will also be allowed to travel with the Canadiens to Toronto to practice with his teammates during Phase 4, but will not be eligible to play in Montreal’s qualifying-round series against Pittsburgh.

The 20-year-old Romanov amassed seven assists and a plus-21 differential in 43 games this season with CSKA Moscow in Russia’s Kontinental Hockey League. The Moscow native played 86 career games with CSKA since making his KHL debut in 2018-19. He helped his team win the Gagarin Cup in 2018-19.

Romanov represented Russia at the world junior hockey championship in 2019 (bronze medal) and 2020 (silver medal), and was named to the tournament all-star team on both occasions. He was named the best defenceman of the 2019 tournament after leading all players in assists (seven) and differential (plus-12), and leading all blue-liners with eight points.

Per the club’s press release, Romanov will earn a base salary of $832,500 each season, with an average annual value of $1.17 million including signing and performance bonuses that kick in for 2020-21. The deal includes this season (2019-20), which means burning the first year of his contract.

Romanov will join the Canadiens for Phase 3 training camp once he completes his mandatory seven-day quarantine period after arriving from Russia. The 20-year-old will also be able to join the Canadiens for Phase 4 of the league’s return-to-play plan, but only for practice — he will not be eligible to play in any games.

The Canadiens selected the defenceman in the second round of the 2018 NHL Draft. Romanov has spent the past two seasons in the Kontinental Hockey League, registering 11 points in 86 games.

Montreal will start their play-in match up against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Aug.1.