Montreal Canadiens sign Russian defenceman Alexander Romanov to 3-year contract

Russia's Alexander Romanov during the Beijer Hockey Game between Russia and the Czech Republic, at the Ericson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. (Erik Simander/TT News Agency via AP)

The Montreal Canadiens have signed Russian defenceman Alexander Romanov to a three-year entry-level contract, the club announced Friday.

The team said the start date of the contract is to be determined, in light of the pause the National Hockey League is experiencing amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Canadiens picked Romanov, 20, in the second round of the 2018 NHL entry draft, where he was the 38th player selected overall.

"Alexander is a young, solid, and very reliable defenseman who is determined to pursue his career in the NHL, Canadiens general manager Mar Bergevin said in a statement. "He is part of our group of young prospects, and we strongly believe he will become an important asset of our defensive squad for years to come."

Romanov, who stands 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 185 pounds, had seven assists and plus-minus differential of +21 in 43 games last season with CSKA Moscow of the KHL.

He also helped Russia win a bronze medal at the World Junior Championship in 2019 and a silver in 2020. He was named to the World Junior Championship all-star team both years.

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