Aliaksei Protas was re-assigned to the Hershey Bears on Friday morning. The 21-year-old rookie was a healthy scratch in the Capitals’ 5-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.
Protas has nine points (3g, 6a) in 33 games with the Capitals this season.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) February 11, 2022
The roster move will allow Protas to suit up in the Bears’ game against Lehigh Valley if Scott Allen so chooses.
Ahead of tonight's game in Lehigh Valley, the @Capitals have re-assigned forward Aliaksei Protas to Hershey.
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) February 11, 2022
Protas has shown to have what it takes to be a full-time NHL player someday. But his production has slowed lately, going pointless in his last five games.
With the emergence of Joe Snively (three points against MTL), the Capitals likely thought the best thing for Protas’s development would be to get him more games. The move will also allow the Capitals to bank some cap space as they have two days before its next game on Sunday against Ottawa. It’s possible Protas could quickly rejoin the team this weekend.
Here’s the full press release from the Capitals:
Capitals Re-assign Aliaksei Protas to Hershey
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have re-assigned forward Aliaksei Protas to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL), senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Protas, 21, made his NHL debut on Nov. 1, 2021, against the Tampa Bay Lightning and has recorded nine points (3g, 6a) in 33 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.
Protas spent the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons with the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL), where he recorded a combined 120 points (42g, 78a) in 119 games.
Protas finished the 2019-20 season with 80 points (31g, 49a) in 58 games and ranked ninth in the WHL in points. He became the third European player in Prince Albert’s history to record 80 points, joining Leon Draisaitl (2013-14: 105 points) and Milan Kraft (1998-99: 86 points).
Protas led Prince Albert in goals, assists, points, plus/minus (37) and game-winning goals (7) in 2019-20, while incurring eight penalty minutes, the fewest among the league’s top-50 scorers. Protas was selected to the WHL’s Eastern Conference First All-Star Team and was named the WHL Eastern Conference Most Sportsmanlike Player of the Year.
The Capitals selected Protas with their third-round pick, 91st overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Headline photo: Elizabeth Kong/RMNB
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