Ivan Miroshnichenko is headed for North America. The Washington Capitals’ 2022 first-round draft selection came to terms on a mutual contract termination with KHL squad Avangard Omsk on Monday.
Miroshnichenko was originally signed through next season with Avangard but is now free to immediately sign his three-year, entry-level contract with the Caps and join their system.
The news was announced on Avangard’s social channels.
“Hockey club “Avangard” and forward Ivan Miroshnichenko terminated the contract by mutual agreement of the parties,” the post reads via Google Translation. “Sports rights for a hockey player remain with our club.”
The latter sentence just means that if Miroshnichenko were to ever return to Russia, Avangard retains his rights. Just as Dynamo Moscow retained fellow Capitals prospect Bogdan Trineyev’s KHL rights this past Saturday.
When Miroshnichenko’s now-terminated contract was initially signed, the two parties came to an agreement that the young sniper would be able to void the final year if he wanted to head to North America and chase the NHL dream.
Avangard’s general manager Anton Kuryanov outlined that in his statement via Google Translation on Monday:
At the time of signing the contract, we had an agreement that in case Ivan wanted to try his hand overseas, the club would let him go – in the last year of the agreement. The striker wants to realize his dream already this year, we will not hinder him, but I think this decision is premature. Miroshnichenko could try to consolidate in the KHL team, especially since last season Avangard gave him such an opportunity.
We understand that due to his recovery from illness, Ivan did not have a thorough preseason training, which made the end of the season greasy for him. Nevertheless, he managed to do a real sporting feat of returning to the ice, scoring points in every match. Unfortunately, due to objective and objective reasons, we did not see in the MHL playoffs that Ivan Miroshnichenko, who was expected on. Anyway, he made his decision and we kept our word. We wish Ivan good luck and good health!
This news popping up with the Capitals’ AHL affiliate Hershey Bears still very much involved in this year’s Calder Cup playoffs should spark more talk about Miroshnichenko potentially joining the Bears as early as this month as another postseason black ace.
RMNB reached out to the Bears last week for a statement on that idea and they said they had “nothing” at the time but would update us if anything changes. We have not received any such update just yet.
Miroshnichenko is coming off quite a busy season in Russia, tallying points at three different levels of Russian hockey and playing in a career-high 55 games. He put up 14 points (10g, 4a) in 12 MHL (junior) games, three points (3a) in four VHL games, and four points (3g, 1a) in 23 KHL games, all within the Avangard organization.
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. 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).
Update: Miroshnichenko and the Capitals have agreed to a three-year, entry-level contract.
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk/RMNB
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