The Washington Capitals selected Russian forward, Ivan Miroshnichenko, with the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. The immensely talented winger fell down the draft board after having his entire career halted by a Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis earlier in the year that required multiple rounds of chemotherapy to treat.
Now, Miroshnichenko is back on the ice and ready to resume where he left off. Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney spoke to the media Monday about that process and where the prospect winger is in his recovery.
The right-handed left winger participated in all of the off-ice activities that July’s Development Camp offered and even took in the final camp scrimmage with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Alexander Alexeyev in the lower bowl of Capital One Arena. He was not at this year’s Rookie Camp and he will not be at main Training Camp either as he continues to work back to game shape in his native Russia.
“He’s progressing, he’s skating, he’s working out. He’s not with his KHL team right now,” Mahoney told reporters. “He’s been cleared by doctors to go out, to work out, and to do those sorts of things. He has to wait for the league to give the final medical clearance so that he can get with Omsk and participate.
“He’s been doing a lot on his own with his father,” Mahoney continued. “I think his father is a coach also. We’re happy with where he’s at health-wise. It’s so far, so good.”
The 18-year-old offensive dynamo has been a part of the Avangard Omsk organization since the 2020-21 season. Before his 2021-22 season was derailed by his diagnosis, he was playing for Omsk Krylia of the Russian VHL which is the country’s AHL equivalent. He tallied 16 points (10g, 6a) in 31 games.
It was never a guarantee that Miroshnichenko would get on the ice in an official capacity for the 2022-23 campaign but Mahoney is confident he’ll dress once he gets the clearance he needs. As of right now, he’s slated to make his return to the VHL and likely see full KHL action at some stage of the season.
“Yeah (he’ll play this season), I think so,” Mahoney said. “It just takes a while to get clearance from the league. It was a pretty serious thing that he went through but he’s on the right road to recovery, stronger. He’s working off the ice and on the ice.”
Miroshnichenko won a silver medal with Russia in the under-18 World Junior Championship in 2021. He scored six goals in seven tournament games and had eight points overall. He has played in all age groups in the youth national scene and has been a leader at every stage.
“He was always a captain of the under-17, under-18 team,” Mahoney added. “Even the tournament last November with the under-20 he was an assistant captain, so probably an indicator of his character. I remember seeing him in the under-18 World Championships in Germany. He was there to do another round of chemo. He had no hair, his blue jeans looked like they were just sort of hanging on his hips. Didn’t look good at all and I talked to him there. We obviously interviewed him after that and then interviewed him at the draft. I think he’s a really strong character. He went through an awful lot but I think it speaks volumes of his character and the type of person he is.”
Omsk currently sits last in the KHL’s Chernyshev Division after eight games. Similarly, Omsk Krylia has won just one of its first four games in the VHL.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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