After the recent selection of Brett Leason, the Washington Capitals traded up to select one of his teammate and linemate from the Prince Albert Raiders. Meet Alexei Protas.
Mike Vogel of WashingtonCaps.com reported that the Washington Capitals traded their fourth round (118th) and fifth round (129th) picks to the New Jersey Devils for the late third round at number 91 overall to select Alexei Protas aka Aliaksei Protas.
Rob Carlin of NBC Sports Washington also added that these two moves now leave the Capitals with just one more pick in the seventh and final round at 211th.
Protas is 6’5” and 192 pounds from Vitebsk in Belarus, part of Europe. He has a cool nickname dubbed “The Viper of Vitebsk” or “Viper” for short.
After coming up the ranks through juniors for both the Team Belarus U17 and U18, he got his chance at the WHL when he signed with the Prince Albert Raiders in a Standard Player Agreement.
Protas was linemats with newest Capital Brett Leason at the center position and had a 40 point season (11 goals, 29 assists) through 61 games. During the WHL playoffs on the run to the Ed Chynoweth Cup, Protas was fourth on the team in scoring with 22 points (12 goals, 10 assists).
The highlight reel shows Protas with a quick snip and great elevation from the puck from top corner-to-corner. His release is as quick as it comes. His quick release is similar to a Travis Boyd, who despite being a mainstay at right wing with the big club in Washington can slot into the center position when necessary.
Protas recorded back-to-back hat tricks during that playoff run and their WHL championship was their first since 1985. In the U20 World Juniors for Belarus, Protas scored three goals and two assists (five points) in five games.
This was another good trade to add more depth to the forward front by General Manager Brian MacLellan.