With their third round pick the Capitals traded up for Aliaksei Protas, a giant of a player from Belarus, who is teammates (and often linemates) of the Capitals second round pick Brett Leason. He clocks in at 6’5” and 192 pounds, which is a nice complement to Leason at 6’4” and 210 pounds - imagine going up against them every night.
Really like Aliaksei Protas. Loved the few games of his that I caught in the playoffs. Skating could use work, but really liked how he operated in the offensive end. Raw, but when he fills out, he could be a player.— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) June 22, 2019
There’s limited video and information on him, but it looks like his biggest strong suit is his playmaking. He has very good vision and hands, allowing him to get the puck to his teammates all over the ice. This shows up in not just his highlights, but also when you watch Leason’s highlights; Protas makes a lot of appearances in it. Mitch Brown who tracks a lot of CHL games found the same thing:
Aliaksei Protas' (WSH) CHL Tracking results are probably my favourite. Rarely does it capture a player's style so well. He's a playmaker. Limited transition impact at best in this sample. Needs to use his shot more. Skating is an issue. But the brain/puck skills are legit. pic.twitter.com/fhLoKrT4nR— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) June 22, 2019
His issue seems to be skating, which is common for a guy his size. But if Leason can speed up his game, so can Protas. And as Mitch points out, Protas has a pretty good shot that he should be using way more. You can see this in his highlights as well. But it looks like he maybe learned to use that shot more as the season went on. He had all of 11 goals in 61 games during the regular season, but put up 12 goals in 23 playoff games. That will be something to keep an eye for next season.
Washington just took Aliaksei Protas who I think was a hidden gem in Prince Albert. Everyone was mesmerized by Leason & for good reason but Protas was a guy that just kept getting better. He went at #91 & we had him ranked at #74— NA Central Scouting (@MarkSeidel) June 22, 2019
And you knew the Capitals weren’t leaving a draft without picking up a defensemen, which they did in the fifth round when they jumped up and grabbed Martin Hugo Has (which I believe is also the name of an underground German techno DJ). There isn’t too much to say about Hugo, except he’s a big kid, coming in at 6’4” and almost 190 pounds. He isn’t a speedster but for his size he can move and shut down guys. He’s considered a good two-way player that has a bomb of a shot and good first pass out of the zone, though he doesn’t do too much in the offensive zone according to Dobber.
Caps take two-way blueliner Martin Hugo Has. Can rush the puck but also defend.— Steve Kournianos (@TheDraftAnalyst) June 22, 2019
Martin Hugo Has goes to Washington.— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) June 22, 2019
At 6-foot-4, Has has a lot of the tools you’d expect out someone much smaller. He moves very well and gets his stick in shooting lanes often - think Jay Bouwmeester. #NHLDraft
It sounds like he’s maybe a Jonas Siegenthaler type. He might not be as fast but still has that size and shutdown ability that can help out the offense occasionally. But it seems it’s his defensive smarts that really separate him from others. Dobber thinks he has #4 potential, which is pretty darn good for a fifth round pick. And thankfully he’s a right-hander, something the Capitals are lacking. He should be able to find a good partner among the plethora of great left-handed defensemen that are in our system.