ARLINGTON, VA — Washington Capitals’ 2022 first-round pick, Ivan Miroshnichenko, was one of three Russian-speaking players at Development Camp this summer, joining forwards Bogdan Trineyev and Alexander Suzdalev on the ice. While all three talented prospects are Russian born, only one of the players, Miroshnichenko, has drawn comparisons to Alex Ovechkin due to his goal-scoring talent and the fact he plays on his off wing just like the Capitals’ captain (shoots right, plays left wing).
That might explain why on Monday, you could have easily mistaken Miroshnichenko for The Great Eight when he took the ice for the team’s afternoon session. Miroshnichenko rocked yellow laces with his CCM skates.
Here’s a closer look via photos from RMNB’s Katie Adler.
It was notable because all Development Camp long up until that afternoon, Miroshnichenko had worn white skate laces. Back home in Russia, he wears white laces in games, too. And during the final days of Dev Camp after this session, Miroshnichenko rocked white laces again.
So what happened? The normal channels we go through were either understandably non-responsive (they are skate laces after all) or unsure. When I asked a Capitals representative what happened, I did not get a comment back. When I requested to talk to Miroshnichenko, the Capitals cited his lack of English and respectfully denied my request. Another Capitals representative told RMNB’s Katie Adler during the final day of Development Camp that he might have been trying new skates.
We dug deeper and this is what we learned.
“The equipment guys did a little prank on him,” a source said. “When the boys saw, everyone cracked up and smiled and started joking about it.”
Basically, it goes like this. The Capitals had two on-ice sessions on Monday. After the team completed their morning jaunt on the ice, the equipment staff took Miro’s skates from his locker and replaced his white laces with yellow ones. When he returned to the locker room for the late afternoon skate, Miroshnichenko didn’t have time to change the yellow laces out, so he took the ice and participated in the two-on-two mini scrimmage looking like Ovi’s twin to the delight of the team.
This is not the first time this particular prank has happened before. During the Capitals’ 2019 Development Camp, Alex Alexeyev had his white laces changed out for yellow ones as well.
“It’s just a couple jokesters on the team,” an exasperated and smiling Alexeyev said afterward.
Photos: Katie Adler/RMNB
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