EAST MEADOW, N.Y. — New York Islanders defenseman Alex Romanov was on the ice Thursday morning during the first day of training camp where he implored that his surgically repaired shoulder is “100%.”
The 23-year-old blueliner’s status for camp was uncertain after he underwent the procedure in the offseason, but will “probably” be a full go by opening night of the regular season on Oct. 14.
“I probably will start because everything is good,” Romanov said. “I think I’m ready to play.”
Romanov underwent the surgery in early June with rehab roughly taking “two to three months,” to get things back to full strength.
“More toward three months to get to that 100%,” he added.
The rehab process forced Romanov to spend most of his offseason on Long Island rather than go back home to his native Russia.
“It was a lot of work, a tough rehab,” he said. “It just was not good times, not much fun.”
Romanov had a career year in his first campaign with the Islanders after being acquired from the Montreal Canadiens at the 2022 NHL Draft. He posted two goals with 20 assists in 76 games. Now preparing for his second season with the team, he’s expected to improve on his partnership with fellow young defenseman Noah Dobson.
An ability to hit the ground running from the start of the season will certainly help.
“I think so [that this is a reward for the difficult rehab],” Romanov said. “It was my hard work, the hard work of our trainers, so yeah, we did it.”