New York Islanders defenseman Alexander Romanov, who did not play in the team’s last game against the Carolina Hurricanes, is officially listed as day-to-day with an upper-body injury. There is no timeline on his return, but Islanders’ head coach Lane Lambert confirmed he will not be in tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Originally drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 2018, Romanov became one of the better young defensemen on the Canadiens’ blue line. During his rookie season in 2020-21, Romanov played in 54 games for Montreal, primarily as a depth defenseman, and even registered four games on the Canadiens’ path to the Stanley Cup Final.
Last season, Montreal took a dive back to the basement of the NHL, and with Romanov becoming a restricted free agent, he was made available to other teams via trade during the 2022 NHL Draft. In the first round, Romanov was subsequently traded to the Islanders for the 13th overall pick (which was later traded to the Chicago Blackhawks) and then would go on to sign a 3-year, $7.5MM in New York.
This season, Romanov has progressed with the Islanders, scoring 22 points in 76 games, all while carrying a solid +13 +/-. Unfortunately for New York, Romanov is a key defenseman to be missing as the team looks to find its way back to the playoffs. As things currently sit, the Islanders hold the last wild card position in the Eastern Conference and hold a one-point lead on the Pittsburgh Penguins with the same amount of games played.