Raiders sign Protas

Steve Kingsman/HHOF-IIHF Images Forward Aliaksei Protas is set to join the Prince Albert Raiders for the 2018-19 WHL season.

Belarusian forward Aliaksei Protas has signed a Western Hockey League standard player agreement with the Prince Albert Raiders.

The 17-year-old, who was taken by the Raiders with the 26th overall pick in last month’s Canadian Hockey League Import Draft, had 20 points in 47 games this past season with the Belarus Under-17 program.

He also had a goal and three assists for his country at the 2018 IIHF World Under-18 Hockey Championship and had five points in four games at the Mac’s Midget Tournament in Calgary last December.

“He’s a big long centreman that can play on the right wing and shoots from the left-hand side,” Raiders general manager Curtis Hunt said after the team drafted Protas. “He’s got real nice skill and good vision.”

“Obviously it takes some time for European players to adjust to our league, but I expect him to contribute to our offence. With how big he is and how he plays, we expect him to play a big role in the penalty kill as well.”

Fellow Belarusian Sergei Sapego, who had 17 points in 41 games on the Raiders blueline last year after being picked up off waivers from the Tri-City Americans, is the other import player on the roster.