ARLINGTON, V.A. — The Washington Capitals believe they got a steal in the 2022 NHL Draft in Ivan Miroshnichenko, and they are seeing the Russian make progress over in Russia as he aims to return to play this season following a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis last year.
Assistant general manager Ross Mahoney shared an update on the 18-year-old, who is overseas and making strides as he waits for the green light to join Avangard Omsk for 2022-23.
“He’s progressing. I mean he’s skating, he’s working out,” Mahoney said. “He’s not with his KHL team right now. He has to kind of wait for a medical clearance from the league. He’s been cleared by doctors to go out, to work out and do those sort of things but it’s more of a league thing where he’s just waiting to get clearance.”
The Capitals expect Miroshnichenko to play this season. He will not be at training camp, but was at development camp for off-ice sessions in July and was cleared for on-ice work after going into remission. Not only has he returned to skating, but he has also been working out off the ice to add strength back. His father has been coaching him. Miroshnichenko was in North America for off-ice sessions at Washington’s development camp.
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And, overall, Washington has liked what they’ve seen with regard to his recovery and progress.
“It was a pretty serious thing that he went through and he’s on the right road to recovery and stronger,” Mahoney said. “Like I said, he’s working off the ice and on the ice.”
Mahoney also said that Miroshnichenko’s resilience truly speaks to his overall character and leadership.
“He was always the captain of the under-17 and under-18 team and even the tournament last November with the under-20, he was the assistant captain. Probably an indicator of his character. I remember seeing him in the under-18 world championships in Germany. He was there to do another round of chemo. He had no hair, his blue jeans looked like they were just sort of hanging on his hips. Didn’t look good at all and I talked to him there,” Mahoney said. “We obviously interviewed him after that then interviewed him at the draft. I think he’s a really strong character. He went through an awful lot but I think it speaks volumes of his character and the type of person he is.”