The Washington Capitals announced that one of their prospects has been loaned overseas and the Tampa Bay Lightning have announced that one of their prospects has signed in the KHL. We also take a look at a prospect who continued to improve his game as the season went on for our Prospect of the Day.
Capitals Loan Protas Overseas
The Capitals announced that they have loaned prospect Aliaksei Protas to Dinamo Minsk of the KHL. The native of Vitebsk, Belarus was originally selected by the Capitals in the third round, 91st overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft.
Protas spent this past season playing for the Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League (WHL) where he managed to score 31 goals and added 49 assists for 80 points in 58 games. He also represented his country at the World Junior Championships Division 1A where he collected seven points in five games. Over the course of his WHL career, he scored 42 goals and added 78 assists for 120 points in 119 games.
Protas is a rare prospect due to the fact that he stands at 6-foot-6. Even rarer is the fact that he is a forward. He is great in the offensive zone and can get a shot off in no time. His unique size allows him to plant himself in front of the net and cause havoc for the opposing team’s goalie. He is great in the corners and is very hard to knock off the puck. Sending him to the KHL is great for his development and it will be interesting to see the impact he has once training camps roll around in November.
Lightning Prospect Masin Signs in Russia
The Lightning announced that prospect Dominik Masin has signed a one-year deal with Amur Khabarovsk of the KHL. The native of Mestec Kralove, Czech Republic was originally drafted by the Lightning in the second round, 35th overall, in the 2014 NHL Draft.
Masin spent the past season playing for the Syracuse Crunch of the American Hockey League (AHL) where he managed to score two goals and added 14 assists for 16 points in 59 games. He has spent the past four seasons playing for the Crunch where he has managed to collect 58 points in 273 games.
Masin has had a tough run these past few seasons in the Lightning organization. Although his offensive numbers have been decent, he has never seemingly been able to rise up the depth chart with the Lightning. With the depth at the NHL level and high-end prospect Cal Foote battling for ice time with the club, he has never been given a legitimate shot. Everyone hopes he can rediscover his game in Russia so that he might be able to compete for an NHL job in one year from now.
Prospect of the Day – Emil Heineman
For our Prospect of the Day, we will take a look at left winger Emil Heineman who continually improved his game as the season went on. Playing for Leksands IF J20, he managed to score 26 goals and added 15 assists for 41 points in 29 games. Heineman also suited up with Leksands IF in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) where he collected two assists in 11 games.
Heineman shines in the offensive zone. When given time and space, he can corral a pass and get his shot off in a hurry. He can place his shot where he wants and made opponents pay last season. Heineman is also very good at setting up his teammates. He loves to cut back when entering the offensive zone and can find a teammate in the slot in the blink of an eye.
Our own Eugene Helfrick thinks that Heineman could reach the NHL in a few years.
“When it comes down to it, Heineman has everything that you look for in an NHL prospect. He is big but still fast on his skates, he sees the game like a veteran and is going to play against men starting in the 2020-21 season, giving him the opportunity to hone his game against some exceptional players.
“Given all of this, there’s no reason that Heineman couldn’t reach the NHL in a few short years. At the very worst, he should become a serviceable bottom-six scoring forward who can inject some needed talent into any forward corps.”
Time will tell whether or not Heineman could be a solid NHL player, but what he has shown everyone this past season cannot be ignored.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.