After his first season with the NY Islanders, defenseman Alexander Romanov may miss the start of training camp following off-season shoulder surgery.
Romanov suffered an “upper-body injury” in a lopsided 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Tampa Bay Lightning on April 1. The 23-year-old defenseman missed nearly three weeks with the injury, returning for Game 3 of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Carolina Hurricanes.
With the injury lingering into the off-season, Romanov and the Isles elected for surgery. Returning to the ice recently, there’s hope Romanov may still be ready for the start of camp or shortly after it begins.
"He should be, it'll be close if he's not," said Lou Lamoriello regarding Romanov's availability for the start of camp at his pre-rookie press conference. "He's close, he's skating, he's doing everything. We'll be as cautious as we possibly can. If it was up to him, he'd play with two broken legs."
Romanov struggled out the gate with the Isles after being the team's key off-season acquisition in a trade with the Montreal Canadiens at the 2022 NHL draft. Originally paired with Noah Dobson, Romanov struggled to find his groove before finding success playing alongside Ryan Pulock towards the tail end of the season.
During the Isles' late-season run to the playoffs, Romanov became one of the team's top defensemen before going down to injury. While he'll never be confused for an offensive-minded defenseman at any point in his career, the Moscow native finished with a career-best 22 points (2 goals, 20 assists) and a +13 rating, tying him for second-best on the team.
Giving up a first-round pick in exchange for Romanov’s services, he’s looked at as a key figure into the future of the franchise. With his position solidified into the Islanders' blue line, he’ll have ample time to recover, ensuring he’s at full strength before making his training camp debut.