Does Xhekaj make the departure of Romanov completely forgotten? The answers here

Published November 10, 2022 at 6:19 PM

In the last draft, Kent Hughes made a major move by trading Alexander Romanov in a three-team deal that brought Kirby Dach to Montreal.

While Dach's play is already making people forget about the price paid to acquire him, thanks to his solid performances on the team's top three, there is a replacement inside the organization that has filled the empty spot left by the Russian defenseman's rugged style of play.

Arber Xhekaj seems to have easily filled the void left by Romanov's departure, possibly quicker than expected for the Habs.

Many fans were upset when the former second round pick in 2018 was traded. He was a crowd favorite and was also progressing quite well. Kent Hughes took a gamble on the left-handed defenseman depth in his organization to go out and get a top talent on offense and it's already paying dividends with the Habs.

Xhekaj is performing beyond expectations with the Tricolore and when you compare the stats between him and Romanov, you can quickly understand that we already have the replacement for the former CH number 27.

Here is the comparison between the two players:

Arber Xhekaj vs Alexander Romanov this season:

Two left-handers
Age: 21 years old vs 22 years old
Size: 6'4 & 238lbs vs 6'1 & 215lbs
Strength: 49 hits vs 30 hits
Points: 4pts in 14 games both
Playing time: 15:37 vs 20:18
CF%: 52.2% vs. 46.4

With the caliber of play presented by Xhekaj, I would even go so far as to say that the one nicknamed "Wifi" will become a better defender than the Russian back.

In addition to being a year younger, the CH number 72 is much more physically imposing. He has a better rebound than Romanov, in addition to having a better shot. Even if Xhekaj plays almost five minutes less per game, he is much more of an offensive threat than Romanov.

Do I also need to mention that the 21-year-old is also much better at protecting his teammates than the Islanders' number 28?

He is a real police on the ice and with him in the lineup, there is no doubt that the club's players feel much safer on the ice.

Credit: Vincent Fournier, Let's Go Habs &
November 10   |   287 answers
Does Xhekaj make the departure of Romanov completely forgotten? The answers here

Who do you think will become a better defenseman in the NHL?

Alexander Romanov4616 %
Arber Xhekaj24184 %
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