Capitals Recall Aliaksei Protas, Re-assign Mike Sgarbossa, Pheonix Copley, Lucas Johansen and Alex Alexeyev To Hershey

The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday morning that they have recalled center Aliaksei Protas from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), re-assigned forward Michael Sgarbossa and goaltender Pheonix Copley to Hershey and re-assigned defensemen Lucas Johansen and Alexander Alexeyev from the taxi squad to Hershey.

The Capitals are back in action on Friday when they visit the Blues in St. Louis. The Bears return to the ice Wednesday night when they host the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at Giant Center.

From The Capitals

Protas, 20, made his NHL debut on Nov. 1, 2021, against the Tampa Bay Lightning and has recorded six points (2g, 4a) in 22 games with the Capitals this season. In addition, the 6’6″, 225-pound center has five points (1g, 4a) in eight games with the Bears this season. The Vitebsk, Belarus, native recorded 18 points (10g, 8a) in 58 regular season games with Dinamo Minsk during the 2020-21 season. Protas 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. Protas 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. The Capitals selected Protas with their third-round pick, 91st overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft.

Sgarbossa, 29, has recorded four points (2g, 2a) in eight games with the Capitals this season and 14 points (8g, 6a) in 15 games with the Bears. The Campbellville, Ontario, native appeared in five games with Washington during the 2020-21 season, recording two assists. During the 2019-20 season, the 6’0″, 179-pound center played two games with Washington, making his Capitals debut on Nov. 20, 2019, against the New York Rangers. Sgarbossa also recorded 40 points (13g, 27a) in 39 games with Hershey, which ranked third on the team. Additionally, Sgarbossa led Hershey in points per game (1.03), tied for the team lead in game-winning goals (4) and ranked tied for second in power play goals (5). In 55 career NHL games with the Capitals, Colorado Avalanche, Anaheim Ducks and Florida Panthers, Sgarbossa has recorded 16 points (4g, 12a).

Copley, 29, has posted a record of 8-5-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage in 14 games with Hershey this season. During the 2020-21 season, Copley led Hershey goaltenders in wins (10), shutouts (2) and games played (15) and ranked seventh in wins and eighth in goals-against average (2.66) in the AHL. Copley and Zach Fucale received the AHL’s Harry “Hap” Holmes Memorial Award in 2020-21, presented to the goaltenders on the team which allows the fewest goals per game in the regular season. In 205 career AHL games, Copley has a 108-65-23 record with 14 shutouts and a 2.56 goals-against average and .910 save percentage. The North Pole, Alaska native appeared in 27 games with Washington in 2018-19, posting a 16-7-3 record with one shutout and a 2.90 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. In 29 career NHL games with the Capitals and the St. Louis Blues, Copley has a 16-8-3 record with a 2.98 goals-against average and .901 save percentage.

Johansen, 24, made his NHL debut and recorded his first NHL point on Dec. 31 versus the Detroit Red Wings. Johansen has recorded seven points (3g, 4a) and a +14 plus/minus rating in 22 games with Hershey this season. The Vancouver, British Columbia native is on pace to record 22 points this season, which would mark his highest single-season total since 2017-18 (6g-21a-27p in 74 games played). In 155 career games with Hershey, Johansen has recorded 52 points (12g, 40a). Johansen was selected with the Capitals’ first-round pick, 28th overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Alexeyev became the sixth rookie to make his NHL debut with the Capitals this season when he dressed versus the Nashville Predators on Dec. 29. Alexeyev, the Capitals’ first-round pick, 31st overall, in the 2018 NHL Draft, has recorded four points (1g, 3a) in 24 games with Hershey this season. Alexeyev began the 2020-21 season on loan to Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). The St. Petersburg, Russia native appeared in 55 of Salavat Yulaev’s 60 regular season games, tied for the most among the team’s defensemen. Alexeyev’s 16 points (8g, 8a) ranked second among Salavat Yulaev defensemen and his 17:52 time on ice per game ranked third. Alexeyev was named the KHL’s Rookie of the Month for January after recording seven points (4g, 3a) and a +6 plus/minus rating in 11 games. Additionally, Alexeyev recorded one assist and led the team with 23 blocked shots in nine playoff games. Alexeyev finished the 2020-21 season with Hershey, recording nine points (2g, 7a) in 12 games, ranking tied for third on the team in plus/minus (11) and fifth in points per game (0.75).

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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