Capitals Recall Aliaksei Protas and Dylan McIlrath

Photo: Charlotte Checkers

The Washington Capitals announced on Sunday morning that they have recalled forward Aliaksei Protas and defenseman Dylan McIlrath. Both players were returned to Hershey (paper move) on Friday, March 3, by the 3PM deadline, making them eligible for the AHL postseason.


ARLINGTON, Va.The Washington Capitals have recalled forward Aliaksei Protas and defenseman Dylan McIlrath from 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.

McIlrath, 30, has recorded one assist in six games with the Capitals this season. The 6’5”, 232-pound defenseman made his Capitals debut on Feb. 16 against the Florida Panthers and recorded his first point as a Capital on March 1 against the Anaheim Ducks. The Hershey captain has recorded 10 assists in 44 games with the Bears this season and leads the team in penalty minutes (83).

The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has played 72 career NHL games with the Capitals, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings, recording six points (3g, 3a) and 128 penalty minutes. In 544 career AHL games with Hershey, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Springfield and Connecticut, McIlrath has recorded 110 points (27g, 83a) and 1,085 penalty minutes. McIlrath was selected by the Rangers in the first round, 10th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.

Protas, who is waivers-exempt, started the season with the Capitals, but was sent to Hershey on January 7. He recorded no goals and three assists in five games played with the Bears before returning to Washington.

Protas was recalled by the Capitals on January 18 in time for the Capitals western road trip and played in one game against (Colorado Avalanche) prior to to be re-assigned to Hershey on February 1.

Protas recorded two goals in three games played during his stint in Hershey before being recalled again by Washington on February 10. Protas was once again re-assigned to Hershey on February 21, but saw no game action. He was recalled to the Capitals on February 24.


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.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Capitals Recall Aliaksei Protas and Dylan McIlrath

  1. novafyre says:

    Considering the Bears’ total lack of scoring, perhaps it shouldn’t have been just a paper move.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully just extra F and F

  3. hockeydruid says:

    Understand the paper move however IF Protas is not going to play for the Caps if there is not an injury then send him to Hershey where he can get ice time and not just in the playoffs. You can ony learn so much sitting in the rafters every night.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Was just thinking about that, you beat me to it. His last NHL game was Feb 12 and his last AHL game was Feb 4. He needs to get gsmes.

      • hockeydruid says:

        As both Smith and Sheary are UFA’s after this season, do think that the Gm will let them both walk or make an effort to resign them before the season ends? Also as both TVR and Irwin are also UFAs’ after this season and with J. Carlson probably ready to go for next season do either get resigned or even offered a contract? Seeing that Fehervary, G Carlsson and AA are all UFA’s after the season and they are all, I hope, in the plans for the future shouldn’t they get contract offers and be signed before UFA’s or even free agents?

        • GRin430 says:

          Fehervary, Carlsson and Alexeyev are all RFAs, and will almost certainly be in their plans, or will be traded for other assets, but I think they’ll keep them.

          I can see them re-signing TVR if he’s willing to take only a modest bump in cap hit.

          Irwin is tied to the coaching staff. I have to believe (hope) at this point that both he and the coaches will be gone at the end of the season.

          I doubt either Sheary or Smith will be back. Sheary will likely want a raise which the Caps can’t really fit within the cap, and Smith would have to take a huge pay cut to stay… So I doubt either will be back, considering especially that the Caps have a bunch of kids who could fill those spots for a lot less cap hit. On the other hand, they’re old and it’s the Caps, so who knows…

          • hockeydruid says:

            Problem: they have 8 D-men now, so that means the Irwin goes and maybe TVR IF they want to keep J Carlson and Iorio on the roster.

            The only coach I would like to see be retained is Allen who has a future in this league.

            As for Smith and Sheary, both are UFAs’ and therefore their future lies elsewhere as both will want a raise and that’s not happening here. Yes there are younger players who can be brought up and take both players places and at a cheaper cost and also produce the same as or better than these 2. You don’t retool or rebuild around a 33 and 30 year old. I know it wot happen but to be honest as they are both UFA I would just cut them now and play the younger guys the rest of the season so they can get some experience and not be in the rafters if called up. Sheary is going to use Milanos’ contract and stats against the Caps to get more money and I say thanks for the fun year but not interested in paying you more.

          • hockeydruid says:

            One other player to talk about is Brown as he is also a UFA. Coming off an injury all season he might come cheaper but he is or will be 30.

  4. dwgie26 says:

    Yeah, I’d like to see Protas get games as well. They need to have at least 13 forwards so fine on all the paper moves. But rather see Protas in the lineup over Smith and maybe even Sheary at this point as I don’t believe either will be resigned.

    I could maybe see us resigning Sheary to trade him at the draft. BMBM would have to think there is a high likelihood that he can be moved to resign him. Can’t see them doing that with Smith.

    GMBM has been emphatic but publicly and privately (through beat reporters) that he wants to get younger and stay competitive. The way to do that is trading out some pieces. I suspect we will be very active around the draft to do just that as the UFA pool isn’t that great this year. I think he looks to get young players with term and use our new draft collateral to do that.

    • hockeydruid says:

      AS both Sheary and Smith are UFA after this season and both will want more money I dont see either of them being resigned here. I would sit one or the other and let Protas get the playing time and as the GM tell the HC this is the plan and if you dont like it and wont do it then either resign or get fired for not following orders! No problem there as Allen can take over and start working the lineup like it is going to look next season. oNE OTHER PLAYER TO TALK ABOUT IS bROWN WHO IS A ufa. dO WE MAKE A STAB AT GETTING HIM BACK COMING OFF AN INJURY HE MIGHT NOT BE THAT EXPENSIVE OR JUST LET HIM GO?

      • novafyre says:

        I’d offer him a one year deal. If he is truly back to form, we could use him.

      • dwgie26 says:

        I wouldn’t sign Connor Brown. Even if he takes a payout it is likely to 2M – 2.5M. Someone will give him that if not more. I’d rather try to get Frank in there or have Protas play RW in middle six.

Leave a Reply