Washington Capitals’ 2022 first-round draft selection Ivan Miroshnichenko has been cleared to return to game action and did so on Sunday for Avangard Omsk’s MHL team.
The 18-year-old winger was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma last season and missed almost an entire year for the recovery process. In late October, he returned to full-team practice for Avangard and has now worked his way back into a game for the first time post-cancer diagnosis.
С возвращением на лёд, Ваня! 🦅
— Молодежная Хоккейная Лига (@MHL_rus) November 6, 2022
Miroshnichenko is expected to stay in the MHL to start and then progress to the professional level if all things go well. The MHL is Russia’s major junior league and all but one team is a feeder team for their respective KHL or VHL parent club. No player’s age can be older than 20 in the league.
The talented winger played just one game in the MHL last season as most of his healthy time on ice was spent in the pros in the VHL, Russia’s AHL equivalent. During the 2020-21 MHL campaign, he recorded 15 points (5g, 10a) in 20 games.
The right-shooting, left winger has been back on the ice for quite some time now but was waiting for full league clearance to be able to rejoin his team’s actual roster for games. In mid-September, Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney talked a little about that process.
“He’s progressing, he’s skating, he’s working out. He’s not with his KHL team right now,” Mahoney said. “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.”
In the game, Miroshnichenko took very, very short shifts seemingly on purpose for conditioning reasons. Those shifts would increase in frequency as the game went on but sometimes he was jumping back over the boards half a minute before his other linemates.
He did not factor onto the scoresheet but did receive first-unit power play time, threw a handful of hits, and forced a save on a toe-drag snipe that then clanked off the outside of the post.
Welcome back, Ivan!
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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