In preparation for the 2023-24 season, Washington Hockey Now staff have compiled a list of the top 10 Washington Capitals prospects. The final rankings are based on the research and discussions of WHN staff.
No. 2: Ivan Miroshnichenko, LW
Age: 19; Ht-Wt: 6-1, 185; Shoots: Right; Drafted: 1st round, 2022.
Ivan Miroshnichenko’s blue jeans barely sit on his hips.
A potential top 10 draft pick thanks to his elite scoring skills, the Russian winger was battling Hodgkin’s lymphoma when Capitials draft head Ross Mahoney met him at the under-18 world championships in March 2022 — three months before that year’s draft. Enough teams stayed away from Miroshnichenko for him to fall into the Capitals’ lap at No. 20 overall.
“Hoping, fingers were crossed under the table, nobody could see that,” Mahoney said at the draft, recalling his desire for Miroshnichenko to be available at the Capitals’ pick. “You don’t know, especially when you have a player rated as high as we did. I think going into the season he would’ve been rated quite higher in a lot of people’s minds.”
Miroshnichenko has since rebounded well from the illness, returning to skating in June 2022 before playing in 23 games for the KHL’s Omsk Avangard. He also appeared at the Capitals’ development camp earlier this summer.
“To see where he is and end up performing the way he did this week was really good,” Mahoney said in June.
Having already shown gifted offensive skills at only 19-years old, Miroshnichenko is primed to take over Alex Ovechkin’s spot at left wing when the elder statesman hangs up his skates. Miroshnichenko’s sample size post-illness has been small, however, so while he is on track, nothing is ever concrete.
Where Is He Playing This Year?
All signs point to Miroshnichenko playing in America this season. At 19-years old, it would be easy to say he’s destined for a spot with the AHL’s Hershey Bears, but his pure talent may force the Capitals’ front office to make some tough decisions in training camp.