Capitals sign Aliaksei Protas to a 5-year extension worth $16.876 million
When the new contract kicks in next season, Protas will count $3.375 million annually against the salary cap through 2028-29.
The Washington Capitals have signed forward Aliaksei Protas to a five-year extension worth $16.875 million, a long-term commitment to a young player the organization believes is on an upward trajectory.
General manager Brian MacLellan announced the deal Friday. When the new contract kicks in next season, Protas will count $3.375 million annually against the salary cap through 2028-29.
Protas, 23, has been one of the Capitals’ best players this season as they’ve overachieved expectations and remained in the Eastern Conference playoff race. He has 18 points on three goals and 15 assists and in recent weeks has been a key part of a line with Connor McMichael and Anthony Mantha.
"Aliaksei is a young and talented player, and we are excited to sign him to a long-term contract,” MacLellan said. “He has taken great strides in his professional career, and we expect him to continue to improve and play a pivotal and impactful role on this team for many years to come.”
The Minsk, Belarus native was a third-round pick in the 2019 draft. He has 10 goals and 32 assists in 133 NHL games with Washington.
Protas was also a key contributor to the American Hockey League Hershey Bears' run to their Calder Cup championship last year.
Locking up Protas, who would have been a restricted free agent next summer, checks one box off MacLellan's to-do list. With the March 8 trade deadline approaching, he has decisions to make about pending unrestricted free agents Mantha and Joel Edmundson and others who Stanley Cup contenders could consider valuable.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl
Stephen Whyno, The Associated Press