Washington Capitals prospect Aliaksei Protas made his NHL debut Monday night as the team clashed with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena. The 20-year-old was recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears this morning after center Nic Dowd was placed on injured reserve.
Protas did his rookie solo lap prior to warmups. Protas became the sixth player selected in the third round or later in 2019 to play in an NHL game.
— Tom Hunsicker (@TomSportsWUSA9) November 1, 2021
With center Hendrix Lapierre serving as a healthy scratch, Protas slid onto the fourth line with forwards Conor Sheary and Brett Leason, whom he played with in the WHL’s Prince Albert Raiders:
Capitals lines against TB:
*Lapierre is a healthy scratch tonight
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 1, 2021
The Capitals became the only team in the NHL to have three selections from the 2019 NHL Draft playing in an NHL game for their team, and all three are in the lineup tonight (Protas, Leason, and center Connor McMichael).
He has four points (1g, 3a) in six games with Hershey this season and his three assists are tied for the fifth-most on the Bears.
— Jon Sorensen (@jon_m_sorensen) October 22, 2021
Protas is a 6’6”, 210 lb left-handed center, drafted by the Capitals in the third round (#91 overall) of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He spent last season playing for Dinamo Minsk in the KHL and the Bears in the AHL. He also played for the Belarus national team this spring in the World Championship. Protas signed a three-year entry-level contract for $825,833 AAV on July 10, 2019.
More on Protas
Protas recorded 18 points (10g, 8a) in 58 regular-season games with Dinamo during the 2020-21 season. The Vitebsk, Belarus, native 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 Minsk skaters with at least 30 games played.
Вот так Алексей Протас броском слету открывает счёт 🔥 pic.twitter.com/tqbFDLZ7Dd
— ХК Динамо-Минск | HC Dinamo Minsk (@hcdinamoby) January 29, 2021
He was re-assigned to Hershey on March 18 and made his AHL debut on March 31. He recorded seven points (2g, 5a) in 16 games with Hershey. Additionally, Protas represented Belarus at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, recording two assists in six games.
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By Della Young