The First Dance: A Look At Aliaksei Protas’ First AHL Game

Photos: Lehigh Valley Phantoms

The Washington Capitals drafted Center Aliaksei Protas with the 91st overall pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. The 20-year old Center was loaned to the Kontinental Hockey League’s Dinamo Minsk earlier in the 2020-21 season following a stint with the Prince Albert Raiders the prior two seasons. On March 30, he made his debut with the Capitals’ affiliate Hershey Bears.

Bears Head Coach Spencer Carbery spoke about Protas before the eventual Bears’ loss to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, saying:

“He’s come over, been here about a week I would say, just under, started to practice with us, has looked good…and now he’ll start his career over here in North America, so looking forward to it”

In the first shift of his professional career in North America (centering a line that included former Junior teammate Brett Leason), Protas took two faceoffs, winning both draws.

Before, the game, Protas was able to catch up with former Dinamo Minsk teammate Maksim Sushko, who is a former fourth-round selection by the Philadelphia Flyers.

He finished the Chocolate and White’s loss with no shots on net and the minus-1 rating. After being re-assigned to the Bears last week, Protas skated with the club for the first time on Friday.

The Bears are next in action on Saturday against the Binghamton Devils.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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