Ivan Miroshnichenko was selected 20th overall by the Washington Capitals in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft. On Tuesday, the 19-year-old Russian sniper finished his first season since the draft when his Omsk Hawks team fell just short of winning the Russian junior league (MHL) final.
The 2022-23 campaign wasn’t just Miroshnichenko’s first post-draft but it was also his first year back since undergoing treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The season proved quite a busy one. Miroshnichenko tallied points at three different levels of Russian hockey and played in a career-high 55 games.
It was a true success story for a young player who’s battled to get back on the ice, even if the year didn’t end how he wanted.
During the regular season, Miroshnichenko put up 14 points (10g, 4a) in 12 MHL games, three points (3a) in four VHL games, and four points (3g, 1a) in 23 KHL games, all within the Avangard Omsk organization.
At the senior KHL level, Miroshnichenko made his debut on December 4, scored his first career goal on December 26, tallied a beautiful spinning assist on Avangard’s top line on January 8, and scored his third career goal on his birthday, February 4.
After the KHL’s regular season concluded, Miroshnichenko returned back to the MHL for the postseason, where he featured in 16 playoff games and recorded seven points (2g, 5a). He went without a point for the last ten games.
While that may sound concerning, it’s typical of a player at his age, especially playing the number of games he did for the first time in his career. That’s not even taking into consideration that he was undergoing chemotherapy less than a year ago.
With his season in Russia now over, RMNB was interested in what the next step could be for Miroshnichenko. He has yet to sign his entry-level contract with the Caps as he still remains under contract with Avangard for one more season. We reached out to the AHL’s Hershey Bears to see if that would stop him from maybe coming over and being a Calder Cup Playoffs black ace.
The Bears gave us this statement:
Nothing on Miroshnichenko at this time regarding coming to Hershey. If that changes, we’ll let you know.
As for right now, Miroshnichenko is expected back for one more year in Russia, where he will hopefully play the majority of the season in the KHL. He will then be free to come stateside to play for either the Caps or in their minor league system.
One thing is for certain, he wants to make sure he rewards Washington for taking the chance on him in the draft.
“I will prove that [the Capitals] did not make a mistake with the choice,” Miroshnichenko said in November. “But this must be done step by step. And first, play in Russia. Climb the stairs – MHL, VHL, KHL, national team. Everything has its time. And whatever happens, it’s all for the best.”
Congrats on the big season, Ivan!
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
RMNB is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
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