After spending this season in the KHL, Aliaksei Protas is on his way back to North America. The Washington Capitals prospect has been re-assigned to the Hershey Bears of the AHL for the rest of the season.
Protas, 20, was the 91st overall pick in 2019 and dominated the WHL last season, scoring 31 goals and 80 points in 58 games. Standing 6’6″, he is one of the most imposing players in any game he plays and should be more than ready to compete physically in the AHL. While Protas scored just 18 points in 58 games for Dynamo Minsk during the regular season, he was excellent in the second half of the season and saw his ice time raised significantly in the playoffs. In his five postseason games, the big center averaged more than 17 minutes a night and recorded four points.
Protas was on loan this season after signing his three-year, entry-level contract way back in 2019. By playing only in the minor leagues down the stretch, that contract will actually slide again, meaning it will not expire until after the 2023-24 season. Capitals fans should be quite excited about the big Belarusian after his excellent performances in the junior and now professional levels since being drafted.