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2022 NHL Draft

‘A Tremendous Feeling’: Meet Capitals 2022 First-Rounder Ivan Miroshnichenko



Capitals draft pick Ivan Miroshnichenko

Ivan Miroshnichenko was all smiles as he made his way to the stage after hearing the Washington Capitals call his name as their 20th overall selection. The Russian proudly pulled the jersey over his head, still grinning ear to ear, as he lived out his childhood dream.

When asked how he was feeling, he had one word: “Super.”

It’s been a long journey for Miroshnichenko, a top-10 talent and one of the best players available in the draft who dropped due to a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis in March.

“Just a tremendous feeling, such a great organization,” Miroshnichenko said. “There are so many great players, Russian players that played for the organization. So to join them is a tremendous honor.”

The 6-1, 185-pound left wing played in 31 games with the VHL’s Omskie Krylia this past season, dishing 10 goals and 16 points. The VHL is one tier below the KHL. And, last summer, Miroshnichenko captained Russia to gold in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, registering four goals and five assists in five games. His cancer diagnosis ended his season abruptly, and teams decided to pass on taking him early due to the risks involved.

“The season went very well for me until I got sick,” Miroshnichenko said. “I was preparing for [the draft] the entire season. I played very well, and I was expecting to go earlier until I got sick. But obviously, really happy where I went.”

Washington interviewed the Russian in Montreal and had lead athletic trainer Jason Serbus review his medical reports. Miroshnichenko revealed that he had a feeling that the Capitals may select him. And in the end, they did, feeling that the reward outweighed the risks.

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Miroshnichenko is now in remission following treatment in Germany. Doctors cleared him to return to playing in June.

“I’m slowly starting to get back on the ice,” Miroshnichenko said. “I’ve been on the ice for about 10 times here.

“The last few months have been great. Obviously, before then, it was some challenging times. But when I was in Russia, it was awesome, super.”

Miroshnichenko brings a lot to the table. He is a sniper with a knack for scoring and driving to the net, and he has a wicked shot that allows him to score from pretty much anywhere. He gets the puck off quick and shoots with great accuracy. The 18-year-old is also a strong skater, puck carrier and passer who plays well in the neutral zone, and he also has tremendous stick handling ability. Over time, he will be able to develop when it comes to defensive play and consistency, but he has the talent to be a superstar at the NHL level.

In the offseason, Miroshnichenko skates with Evgeni Malkin. He plans to take part in the Capitals 2022 development camp, which kicks off Monday. He then plans to return to Russia and prepare for the 2022-23 season in Omsk as he continues chasing his NHL dream.

“I never really thought that I’d be a draft pick of the Washington Capitals… but being drafted is something I was planning on doing,” he said.