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Capitals’ Miroshnichenko Reflects On First KHL Goal, Adapting To Pros

Washington Capitals prospect Ivan Mirohsnichenko reflects on his first KHL goal and his life playing pro hockey so far.



Washington Capitals prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko's incredible story continues, as the 18-year-old scored his first KHL goal on Monday and continues to put up impressive numbers since returning from Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Miroshnichenko's first goal for Avangard Omsk came late in the first period in Monday's game against Barys. He struck on a quick shot from the slot and finished the game with two SOG through 8:19 minutes. He also set a record as the youngest player in Avangard history to score a KHL goal.

"Emotions [are] indescribable," Miroshnichenko told "When I saw the puck behind the goal line… I tried to shoot, and it was probably an unexpected shot for the [goaltender]."

WATCH: Washington Capitals Prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko Nets First KHL Goal

The 18-year-old has played six games up with the KHL club after being promoted from the MHL's Omskie Yasterby following a red-hot start that saw him put up eight goals and three assists in just eight games. He had had his fair share of chances, and he was thrilled to see one finally go in in his seventh pro game of the year.

"It was a little stressful that there were chances, but I couldn't score. And there were good chances… it's a long-awaited goal," Miroshnichenko added.

Miroshnichenko had missed the latter half of the 2021-22 campaign due to his cancer diagnosis. The top-5 talent saw his draft stock drop following his diagnosis, but the Capitals took him 20th overall in the 2022 NHL Draft this summer following numerous interviews and consulting with the medical team. Washington believes it has a future "superstar" and the potential steal of the draft.

Following numerous rounds of chemotherapy, he went into remission in June and was able to start skating again and gain his strength and weight back. He returned to play in early November and earned the promotion to the KHL earlier in December. He says that so far, he's adjusting well to the pros.

"We can already say that I have adapted to the KHL. Probably, I earn coach's trust, so I play more and more with each match," Miroshnichenko said.

Miroshnichenko's KHL contract with Avangard Omsk expires in 2024. After that, he has his sights set on coming to North America and lacing 'em up for the Capitals.