MONTREAL, QC— Following the conclusion of the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft, New York Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello spoke to the media regarding his decision to move the 13th overall pick to the Montreal Canadiens for defenseman Alexander Romanov.
“Well, we had an opportunity to get a 22-year-old top-four defenseman, has tremendous character, has tremendous competitiveness and so we felt, you know, it was the right thing and we were looking for a defenseman,” Lou Lamoriello said. “And we felt that in the draft, that the ones we were looking at would be gone. And it was not really a tough decision.”
As for what the New York Islanders liked about Alexander Romanov after two years of NHL experience, Lamoriello went back to the competitiveness.
“Competitiveness number one, and we played against him enough to feel that way and known and recognized what he brought,” Lamoriello said. “And he’s growing. He’s got a long…he’s got a lot to grow. He’s got you know, a lot in him potentially to get better.”
Romanov has played the New York Islanders three times in his NHL career and despite no points to show for his efforts, he had seven shots on goal and averaged 20:28 minutes per game.
One thing mentioned in NYI Hockey Now’s initial trade piece was what Romanov can do without the puck.
“Well, you know, it’s so long as you do everything at the right time, it’s like everything else. But we like what he brings,” Lamoriello said. “He’s been in the league you know, a couple of years right now. And he’s 22 years old.”
Per a league source, NYI Hockey Now learned that there was rumblings of a deal with the Vancouver Canucks for J.T. Miller, but the deal went south. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun asked Vancouver Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin about it and he had this to say:
Canucks GM Patrik Allvin speaking to media asked about the rumoured trade that never was with the Islanders:
“There was definitely nothing going on (with the Islanders).”
Says he was surprised at the reports about it.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 8, 2022
When Lou Lamoriello was asked the same thing, he said, “Talk to Vancouver.”
Romanov is currently a restricted free agent but Lamoriello had no timetable for when he could be signed.
“I couldn’t tell ya. I don’t know. Whenever we get it done, we will get it done.”
Alexander Romanov is an interesting player, given the fact that he has the ability to impact on both sides of the ice, yet the offensive production has not been there just yet.
I asked Lou Lamoriello if he thought Romanov was an offensive defenseman or a defensive defenseman, piggybacking off his remarks from Wednesday about wanting to acquire one of each.
“I think he’s, I think he’s a combination of both,” Lamoriello said. “He’s more of a defensive defenseman. But in his junior years he put up points, but we’re more concerned with what the six [defensemen] looks like, rather than what one looks like.”
Romanov, despite his two years of NHL experience, is still an unproven player. And at 22 years old, Lamoriello believes that Romanov is part of the future of the New York Islanders.
“Without question,” Lamoriello said about him being part of the future plans. “When you’ve already had a chance to see him, when whoever you’re going to pick, it’s going to be two or three years before you do [know].”
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