Washington Capitals prospects Aliaksei Protas and Alex Alexeyev were loaned to KHL teams last summer when it became fairly apparent that hockey in North America would be on hold for quite some time. As it turns out, it was a fortunate break for both player’s hockey careers.
Protas was loaned to Dinamo Minsk on August 7 and Alexeyev was loaned to Salavat Yuleav Ufa on September 3. Both players took their lumps in the early going, and even dealt with healthy scratches. But in the end, they survived and on many occasions, thrived in the KHL.
The two prospects, who were looking at returning to the WHL (Protas) and the AHL (Alexeyev) last fall, now have a full season of KHL experience added to their hockey resumes, and both are now heading to postseason play.
Protas and Dinamo Minsk will face SKA in the first round of the postseason, with the series kicking off on March 2nd. Alexeyev and Salavat Yuleav Ufa will face Traktor in the first round beginning on March 3.
The KHL season ended on Saturday, February 27. Protas finished the regular season with 10 goals and eight assists in 58 games played. He worked his way up from centering the 4th line for most of the season, to finishing the year centering the second line.
Alexeyev also had a good regular-season campaign. Offensively, he recorded eight goals and eight assists in 55 games and became arguably one of Salavat’s best defenders by the end of the regular season. He also spent time playing on the right side for a good portion of the season, which will be very valuable to him and the Capitals down the line.
We will have much more on both prospects in our monthly prospects report and have expanded coverage of each player’s postseason run.
For more information on each player’s regular season, please check out our prospect’s page.
Congratulations to Alex and Aliaksei!
By Jon Sorensen