Protas nominated for WHL Most Sportsmanlike Player award

Daily Herald File Photo Washington Capitals prospect Aliaksei Protas led the Prince Albert Raiders in scoring this season.

Prince Albert Raiders forward Aliaksei Protas has a chance to make history next month.

He can become the first skater in franchise history to be named as the Western Hockey League’s most sportsmanlike player after being selected as the Eastern Conference nominee for the Brad Hornung Trophy on Wednesday.

The Washington Capitals prospect, who will be going up against Portland Winterhawks forward Seth Jarvis for the award, only had eight penalty minutes during the course of the season and didn’t take a trip to the penalty box until a Jan. 18 contest against the Red Deer Rebels.

Protas had four penalty minutes last year and six penalty minutes during the Raiders’ run to the 2019 WHL title.

Jarvis, who was second in league scoring this season with 98 points and is a possible first round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, had 24 penalty minutes during his sophomore campaign.

The winner of the Brad Hornung Trophy will be announced on Thursday, May 14.

Raiders Year-End Awards

The Raiders continued to recognize their players for their efforts during this past season as they presented two more of their 2019-20 awards on Wednesday.

Graduating blueliner Jeremy Masella received the Travis Laycock Award as Humanitarian of the Year for the second straight season, while rookie defencemen Landon Kosior and Nolan Allan shared the Belle Merrell & Calla Grasley Award for Scholastic Player of the Year.

Masella took part in school visits throughout the course of the campaign and played a key role in the team’s Financial Literacy Program with Conexus Credit Union, which taught students the importance of setting goals and saving money for the future.

“Playing hockey in a place like Prince Albert is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced and you guys make it fun and easy to be part of the community every day,” Masella said in a video that was posted to the Raiders’ website.

Allan and Kosior, who were both attending Carlton Comprehensive High School during their first seasons in the WHL, are the first players to share the Scholastic Player of the Year award since Curtis Miske and Eric Pearce accomplished that feat in 2018.

“Keeping up in the classroom during the course of the season can be difficult, but our teachers are very understanding and put us in the best position possible to succeed, whether it’s helping us out after hours or over the phone,” Allan said in a video that was posted to the Raiders’ website.

“I’m lucky that I have great teachers and teammates who support me and push me to keep up my schoolwork during our busy schedule,” Kosior added. “I’d like to give a special thanks to our education coordinator Geraldine Arpin for helping to keep me on track by planning study halls and making sure that I had what I needed for each class that I was taking (in order) to be successful.”

The Raiders will announce two more year-end award winners on Thursday.