Washington Capitals: Breaking down the top 3 cuts

Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – JUNE 22: Aliaksei Protas reacts after being selected 91st overall by the Washington Capitals during the 2019 NHL Draft at Rogers Arena on June 22, 2019 in Vancouver, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images) /

#2 Aliaksei Protas

Aliaksei Protas aka Alexei aka “The Viper” impressed teammates, coaches, scouts and fans alike. So why did the Washington Capitals decide to send him back?

Simple, because he’s still young and because junior players are usually the first players cut in a team’s training camp. Those respective junior teams begin their camps very soon so that’s why Protas is back with the Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Price Albert Raiders.

Protas will look to lead the Raiders back to another Ed Chynoweth Cup and he was spectacular during last year’s run. If your nickname is the Viper I’d expect nothing less.

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KELOWNA, BC – JANUARY 19: Aliaksei Protas #21 of the Prince Albert Raiders passes the puck against the Kelowna Rockets at Prospera Place on January 19, 2019 in Kelowna, Canada. (Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images) /

Protas was a steal in a sense and has a potential to be a gem in the future. NHL Central Scouting ranked Protas 16th among centers and 30th overall among North American forwards.


Protas scored 11 goals and 29 assists for 40 points in 61 regular season games, ranking seventh among WHL rookies. In the playoffs, Protas added 12 goals and 10 assists for 22 points in 23 games. He led all rookies with 22 postseason points and that run included back-to-back hat tricks in consecutive games.

Protas has the height of six-foot-five and has the playmaking capabilities of an NHLer. We’ll see him in Washington one day.