The Western Hockey League announced today Aliaksei Protas, forward of the Prince Albert Raiders, has been named the WHL Eastern Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year and nominee for the Brad Hornung Trophy (WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year) presented by Real Canadian Superstore.
A nominee for the Brad Hornung Trophy, Protas posted 80 points (31g, 49a) while incurring just eight penalty minutes this season. Protas led the division in points this season. Protas has appeared in 119 WHL regular season games, recording 120 points (42G-78A) but has accrued just 12 penalty minutes. Last week, Protas was named to the WHL’s Eastern Conference First All-Star Team.
A 6-foot-6, 210-pound product of Vitebsk, Belarus, the 19-year-old Protas posted career-best totals in goals, assists, and points. As part of his goal total, Protas scored nine power-play goals, two short-handed goals, and seven game-winning goals. During the season, Protas recorded 21 points (8G-13A) on a 12-game point streak.
The 2019-2020 season was a tale of two seasons for “The Viper”. Protas, who was selected as an Alternate Captain, started the season with 18 goals and 24 assists in 27 games (1.55 points per game) before departing for the World Juniors at the end of November.
Following a very good showing for Team Belarus where he recorded four goals and three assists in just five games (1.40 points per game), Protas returned to Prince Albert in late December. The second half of the season was not as productive. He recorded 13 goals and 25 assists in 31 games (1.22 points per game).
You can read more about Protas’ 2019-2020 season in our annual review and forecast for him which can be found here.
Noted for his talent, desire and sportsmanlike attitude, the Brad Hornung Trophy for Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year is awarded annually to the player that combines those same attributes.
WHL Eastern and Western Conference Most Sportsmanlike Players of the Year are voted upon annually by WHL General Managers and Head Coaches. The winner of the Brad Hornung Trophy for WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year will be announced on Thursday, May 14.
By Jon Sorensen