The Washington Capitals announced Tuesday afternoon that they have loaned forward Aliaksei Protas to the Hershey Bears. The move makes roster room for the return of center Nic Dowd, who is s expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Red Wings.
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ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have loaned forward Aliaksei Protas to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Protas, 22, has recorded 10 points (3g, 7a) in 43 games with Washington this season. The 6’6″, 235-pound forward appeared in 33 games with Washington during the 2021-22 season, ranking second among Capitals rookies in plus/minus (+4) and third in points (9). In 76 career NHL games with the Capitals, Protas has recorded 19 points (6g, 13a).
In eight games with Hershey this season, Protas has recorded five points (2g, 3a). The Vitebsk, Belarus native recorded 24 points (8g, 16a) in 42 games with the Bears in 2021-22, establishing AHL career highs in goals, assists, points and power play goals (2) and earning Hershey’s Rookie of the Year award. Protas has recorded 36 points (12g, 24a) in 66 career AHL games with Hershey.
The Capitals selected Protas with their third-round pick, 91st overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Protas is waivers-exempt, and the easiest roster move to make, without having to risk placing another player on waivers.
The recalls and re-assignments for Protas could potentially continue until the NHL trade deadline on March 3, when the Capitals will potentially resolve their issue with a surplus of forwards.
By Jon Sorensen
Jon, “when the Capitals will potentially resolve their issue with a surplus of forwards” , I understand what you are saying however I have very serious doubts (as much as I would like to see several players traded for picks or guys in the minors) I have a problem finding a landing spot of Mantha or Eller. I also don’t see anyone biting on Oshie because of his age and contract and recent injuries. Wilson falls into that same box. Hathaway, MoJo, Sheary and NAK are all UFA after this season and wont bring a lot and wont save much on the salary cap. Do they trade Dowd; once again coming off an injury and age but under control for 3 more years. Trade Kuzy, na then he would blossom into a true #1 center elsewhere under better coaching (see Samsonov and Varna also look at the useless trade of Stephenson). Backy has no value and doesn’t he have a no trade clause? The best and most tradeable parts or Orlov, Jensen and Gustaffson and of those 3 you will get the most for Orlov. I don’t see any forwards that will be wanted by other teams, at this time but maybe after the season several will find other homes as UFA. In conclusion for the sake of a lame duck HC this team picked up NAK rather than play Protas. What a shame. For me as long as they have the HC and GM that they do I would rather not make trades unless someone is willing to give a pick for a player as we don’t need any salary or old players coming back.
You really think teams don’t want Tom Wilson because he tore his ACL last season? Wow.
Druid, I agree with your concerns finding landing spots for UFAs and other players. However, my gut says they will reduce number of forwards, one way or the other, between now and trade deadline. If you read my earlier post on the high-level line assessment this morning, it shows how well Protas works on the 4th line, that I can’t see anybody but Pro on the 4th line with Dowd and Hathaway when all is said and done.
Malenstyn was very good on the 4th line, faster, more dynamic and physical than Protas.
Guess Lavvy doesn’t like the Protas-Dowd-Hathaway grouping…smh
Lol. He loves that line. Protas is the only waivers-exempt player.
History indicates that Hathaway, MoJo, Sheary and Eller should all bring back mid-level picks, likely 3rd-5th rounds. They are all legit NHL players, and would bolster the bottom of a contender’s lineup. They can all kill penalties and chip in some offense. Hathaway brings toughness, MoJo and Sheary speed and a little skill, Eller wins faceoffs, is tough to knock off the puck, and is very good defensively. Somebody will want each of them, but my guess is that there is a dance going on between multiple clubs over multiple 3rd-4th line players to see who can get the most while giving up the least. The music stops in less than 2 weeks, so let’s see who ends up where.
Aside from those 4 UFAs:
Wilson might bring the most return of any current Cap except Ovechkin, but he ISN”T GOING ANYWHERE. He is a unique player in his prime who has a NTC.
Dowd is difficult to replace — a right-shot C who wins faceoffs and gets a few dirty goals besides. The Caps currently have nobody besides him in the system except maybe Pilon, and he hasn’t proved he’s an NHL player. And as Jon showed us, Dowd is the most productive C on the roster right now, plus he’s got term left. So he’s almost certainly NOT GOING ANYWHERE.
Kuznetsov still has baggage that most teams will not take on, and he too has a NTC. so NOT GOING ANYWHERE unless there is some sort of blockbuster, “out-of-nowhere-you-have-to-be-kidding-me-they-did-WHAT?” trade.
Protas is this year’s yo-yo. He’s a good kid and always handles it well.