Aliaksei Protas Finishes-Up Yet Another Long Season Hoisting The 2023 Calder Cup With The Hershey Bears

Photo: Coachella Valley Firebirds

Washington Capitals forward prospect Aliaksei Protas has packed a ton of hockey into the last three years. In 2020-21, he played in a total of 91 games, including a full season and a round of playoffs in the KHL, 16 games with the Hershey Bears and 12 international games for Team Belarus. The 2021-22 season saw Protas play 86 games, including 33 games with the Capitals and 42 games with the Hershey Bears.

The 2022-23 season was yet another long, but fruitful season of development for the 6’-6” Belarusian. Protas, still just 22, began the 2022-23 season with the Washington Capitals and finished the season hoisting the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears. In the end, Protas posted another 87 games for the season. That’s 264 games over the last three seasons, if you’re counting at home.

Protas has finally returned to his home in Belarus for some much-needed and well-deserved rest. He has also begun meeting with the Belarusian national press, where he has discussed the last 10 months of his hockey career, including the icing on the cake, winning the 2023 Calder Cup.

“There were a lot of congratulations. Only a couple of days later I answered everyone who sent the messages,” Protas told “And it took a long time. And immediately after the final, I called my wife, relatives.”

Protas said he also received messages from his Capitals teammates and new head coach Spencer Carbery following the Calder Cup victory.

”Of course – Alexander Ovechkin, Kuzya (Evgeny Kuznetsov), Alex Alexeyev. Defender John Carlson also congratulated me. It was nice to get a message from the new Capitals head coach Spencer Carbury, from Dima Orlov, although he had become a “Bruin” from Boston by that time,” said Protas.

[Protas’ billet family in Prince Albert celebrate the Hershey Bears overtime Calder-Cup winning goal. Protas also won a WHL championship in Prince Albert].

“First, we celebrated in the locker room. Then we continued during dinner at the hotel restaurant, where wives and close teammates joined us,” Protas said. “Immediately after the game, two cases of beer and a case of champagne were brought into the dressing room, but it all ended quickly. Well, in general, we celebrated for four days: in the hotel, in restaurants, in Hershey, we met with fans. I know that some of the guys continue to celebrate the victory even now,” added Protas.

Protas has already begun light preparations for the 2023-24 season following a well-deserved vacation with his wife and new daughter.

“The previous one (season) was long, for so long – until the end of June – I’ve never played before. On Tuesday, however, I had an easy training with Vitebsk, slowly doing stretching, preparing the body for work. But I will turn on to the fullest program after returning from Minsk, where I will go to visit friends and relatives in the coming days.”

By Jon Sorensen


Aliaksei Protas’ Billet Family “Cried” When He Called To Tell Them He Made The Capitals Opening Night Roster
How Aliaksei Protas Capitalized On A Rare Opportunity During The Covid Pandemic
Aliaksei Protas Nearly Gave Up On Hockey Following First Trip To North America At Age 14

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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15 Responses to Aliaksei Protas Finishes-Up Yet Another Long Season Hoisting The 2023 Calder Cup With The Hershey Bears

  1. Lance says:

    Protas is a favorite for me. I expect to be a Cap for many years. 4th line or 3rd line.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Appt of fans forget Protas is just 22 yo. Still developing.

  3. dwgie26 says:

    Protas has sick puck control and great eyes. I’d really rather see him play up in the lineup versus the 4th line to see if we can unearth his offensive skills he displayed in juniors.

    264 games in three years is no joke. He can handle the NHL grind so now its NHL playing time for a full season and preferable middle-six.

    • andrew777dc says:

      If only he could finish better. This is a big question mark that doesn’t seem to be going away with playing time.

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        Also, I’d like to see the hitting by him increase. He would go weeks in the KHL without registering a single hit. I understand that’s not been his game, but he needs to step it up some.

        • Anonymous says:

          Couldn’t agree more. If he added some more strength, a physical game, and some snarl he would probably be a fixture in the NHL for many years.

        • AJ says:

          How do you get that msg across to a Mantha?
          The guy who despite his frame peels off more check opportunities than anyone else not named Kuzzy

  4. Lance says:

    It’d be awesome if Protas could be the 3C for the next 10 years. A guy like Joel Otto. Plays great defense, wins faceoffs when you need to and contributes a bit of offense.

    I’m not sure if Protas skates well enough to stick at center in the NHL.

  5. hockeydruid says:

    He and several others need to be in Wash this year and next not keeping some of these fringe players who the Gm got of of dumpster dives. The talent is there and he doesn’t really have anything else to learn or show in Hershey. He can add weight and strength in DC and get used to the pro game where he will be for years to come. maybe the plan is to let the guys on the roster play and show what they can do and then trade several for picks during the year and slowly add the guys from Hershey just as long as it does not end up like last year where we lose 2 young players because they could not pass through waivers.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree Druid. I see Protas, Malenstyn and C-Mac in Washington this fall, at a minimum.

      • hockeydruid says:

        From your mouth the the HC ears. Right now CapFriendly lists Snively and Protas as on the roster. Little under 3 months until opening night and a lot can happen. And whatever young guys make the team let them play not be spectators!! are there ae good rumblings about a trade of Kuzy? I’m thinking that there might not be much of a return for him now and better to wait until the season is underway and hope that he plays better and the same with Mantha. And word about Backy possibly retiring or if it all quiet on his front?

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          The Backstrom camp has been really quiet this summer.

          • hockeydruid says:

            I’m wondering if Carberry will bring in a lot of run and gun to the O. IF he does that might spell the end of Backy. Guess we will have to give the lines names this season: 1st line The Old Man Line, 2ND line The Tweeners Line, 3rd line The Young Guns Line and the 4th line The Everyone Else Line!

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