Capitals Recall Aliaksei Protas, Loan Clay Stevenson to AHL’s Hershey Bears

The Washington Capitals have made some roster moves after their disastrous start to the new season. The Caps have recalled forward Aliaksei Protas from the Hershey Bears and sent down goaltender Clay Stevenson. 

Protas was sent down to Hershey in order to make cap room for Stevenson to back up Charlie Lindgren on Friday night after Darcy Kuemper was unavailable due to his family welcoming their first child. 

Now that this transaction occurred, all signs point to Kuemper getting the start against the Calgary Flames on Monday and Protas potentially slotting back on the third line with Dylan Strome and Sonny Milano.

From the Capitals

The Washington Capitals have recalled forward Aliaksei Protas from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and have loaned goaltender Clay Stevenson to Hershey, president of hockey operations and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

Protas, 22, recorded 15 points (4g, 11a) in 58 games with Washington in 2022-23. The 6’6”, 237-pound forward established NHL single-season career highs in goals, assists, points, games played and shots (83). In 91 career games with the Capitals, Protas has registered 24 points (7g, 17a) while averaging 11:38 time on ice per game.

The Minsk, Belarus native added five points (2g, 3a) in nine regular-season games with Hershey and 13 points (5g, 8a) in 20 playoff games during Hershey’s run to the Calder Cup championship. During the playoffs, Protas was tied for the team lead in power-play goals (2), tied for second in goals and tied for third in points.

Stevenson, 24, appeared in 36 games for the South Carolina Stingrays (ECHL) last season, posting a record of 19-12-3-1 with a 2.54 goals-against average, a .916 save percentage and three shutouts. The 6’4”, 185-pound goaltender ranked second among ECHL goaltenders in goals-against average, tied for fifth in shutouts and seventh in save percentage. In addition, Stevenson posted a 2-1-2 record with a 2.11 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage in five Kelly Cup Playoff games.

The Drayton Valley, Alberta native also posted a 3-0-0 record with a 1.96 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage in three games with Hershey in 2022-23. Stevenson made his AHL debut on Dec. 10, 2022, against the Cleveland Monsters, stopping 25 of 27 shots.

The Capitals signed Stevenson to a two-year entry-level contract on March 28, 2022, following his sophomore season at Dartmouth (NCAA). Stevenson earned six of Dartmouth’s seven wins during the 2021-22 season, leading the Big Green in wins, save percentage (.922), goals-against average (2.70) and shutouts (2). Stevenson posted a save percentage above .900 in all 23 games he played and his .922 save percentage was tied for second in the ECAC. Stevenson, who won the Phelan Award as Dartmouth’s MVP, was named to the 2021-22 All-Ivy First Team, the ECAC All-Rookie Team and the ECAC Third All-Star Team.

By Jacob Cheris

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on X: @dellayoung
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5 Responses to Capitals Recall Aliaksei Protas, Loan Clay Stevenson to AHL’s Hershey Bears

  1. Jack says:

    So this means we’re benching Mantha and putting Phillips on the 4th line right. Right?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Protas Dowd Mantha would be interesting line

  3. Anonymous says:

    Don’t touch the Strome Milano Phillips line! If u wanna swap out tall guy for tall guy that’s fine, but unless a hoops game breaks out, I’d pass on both.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Okay forget playoffs, forget winning(at least for now) Put Ovie with Strome at 1C so he can chase his record. Backie to 3C. You need fresh legs, so Wilson goes up 1W and Oshie down to 2W. Since nothing else has worked with Martha and your paying him, bump him up to 3W and give it time and see what happens. The guy had very good numbers pre Capitals so something good might happen. The one huge salary that’s tradable is Kuzy. Make it happen and give CMM the shot at 2C. I love Backie, but maybe he’s just not physically up to top six minutes.

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