“I want to say a big thank you to the fans and Dinamo Minsk for the season. This year gave me a big boost in my development. Thanks to the fans for their support and good luck!”
The 6’-6” centerman had a very successful rookie professional campaign in the KHL, recording 10 goals and eight assists in 58 games. Protas also added a goal and three assists in five postseason games and was recognized as the best rookie in the first round of the Gagarin Cup.
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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-assigned center Aliaksei Protas from Dinamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Protas, the Capitals’ third-round choice, 91st overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft, recorded 18 points (10g, 8a) in 58 regular season games with Dinamo Minsk this season. The Vitebsk, Belarus, native ranked tied for fifth on the team in goals and tied for eighth in points, despite ranking 15th in time on ice per game (12:52) among Dinamo Minsk skaters with at least 30 games played.
Additionally, Protas recorded four points (1g, 3a) in five playoff games and was named Best Rookie of the KHL playoffs’ first round.
Protas, 20, spent the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he recorded a combined 120 points (42g, 78a) in 119 games.
Protas finished the 2019-20 season with 80 points (31g, 49a) in 58 games and ranked ninth in the WHL in points. He became the third European player in Prince Albert’s history to record 80 points, joining Leon Draisaitl (2013-14: 105 points) and Milan Kraft (1998-99: 86 points).
The 6’6″, 210-pound center led Prince Albert in goals, assists, points, plus/minus (37) and game winning goals (7) in 2019-20, while incurring eight penalty minutes, the fewest among the league’s top-50 scorers. Protas was selected to the WHL’s Eastern Conference First All-Star Team and was named the WHL Eastern Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.
Protas will wear #40 for Hershey.
Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan spoke about prospects loaned to Europe in an interview with Capitals media last week. He said ”as teams finish in Europe, we’re gonna try and bring guys back and put them in Hershey to finish up the year in Hershey.”
Capitals defensive prospect Alex Alexeyev continues to play for Salavat Yuleav Ufa in the KHL. Salavat has advanced to the second round of the KHL playoffs.
Defenseman Bobby Nardella, who is playing for Djurgarden in the Swedish Hockey League is also still playing for Djurgarden.
The fourth Capitals prospect in Europe is Tobias Geisser, who is wrapping up his season with EVZ of the Swiss League.
By Jon Sorensen