Ivan Miroshnichenko: “I Will Prove That The Club Did Not Make A Mistake With The Choice.”

Photo: HC Omsk Hawks

Washington Capitals forward prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko has made a triumphant return to the game hockey after being treated for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and finally being cleared to play on November 8. Miroshnichenko has played in six games with Omsk Yastreb, the MHL affiliate (i.e. Russian Junior League) of Avangard Omsk, and in those six games, he’s tallied six goals and recorded two assists, scoring two goals in his most recent game.

Miroshnichenko recently sat down for an interview with Pavel Lysenkov of Match TV in Russia, where he discussed his draft-day experiences, his fight with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and being compared to Alex Ovechkin. [Translation via Google Translate].

“The atmosphere there was amazing! There were a lot of Canadiens fans, and the club had the right to choose first – where they chose Juraj Slavkovski,” said Miroshnichenko about attending the draft this summer. “The support was just crazy. The fans were screaming and singing songs. This is the joy of people!”

As a skilled player, who also plays a physical game, the comparisons with Alex Ovechkin were inevitable. He indicated that he was very happy to be drafted by Washington.

“When this happened, at first I was simply amazed and happy. Washington is such a team! There are many Russians, and it’s great that our guys are so trusted.”

Prior to his selection by the Capitals, Miroshnichenko admitted that he expected to be drafted sooner.

“During the draft, there was a moment when I thought that I would get selected earlier. I already gave the phone to a neighbor, I was ready to get out of my chair and go on stage … As a result, I was chosen later. And I am very pleased that Washington believed in me. I will prove that the club did not make a mistake with the choice.”

Miroshnichenko is currently under contract with Avangard Omsk through the 2023-24 season so he will not make it to the NHL before the age of 20, which was also the case with Ovechkin. He considers it a necessary step in the development of his game.

“Let’s see how it goes. We must first achieve something in Russia. But in general, it is not a requirement. You can also go to the NHL right away – carry out power moves, score points. If everything goes right, maybe one can immediately star in North America.”

Miroshnichenko knows that the Capitals will be undergoing a rebuild soon, and he hopes to be a big part of it.

“Soon the Capitals will probably go through a restructuring. I hope to get into this wave and gain a foothold, to take a leading role if God willing,” said Miroshnichenko. “…But this must be done step by step. And first play in Russia. Climb the stairs: MHL – VHL – KHL, national team … Everything has its time. And whatever happens, it’s all for the best.”

Miroshnichenko believes that playing in the KHL will be an adjustment.

“Let’s see how it will be. It is necessary to increase the speed of decision-making. I already played in the VHL last season, and it is clear that the KHL has more skillful players. More precisely, they shoot, they make better passes. And so in the VHL, and in the KHL, men play who hit hard, skate fast. You need to take a hit and carry out power moves yourself …”

After the NHL draft, Miroshnichenko attended the Capitals Development Camp less than a week later. This was in spite of the fact he could not be a full participant in all the drills there. He still got to see the city, and the team’s facilities, and meet the other prospects.

“Came after the draft for four days in Washington. Went and met everyone. I was given a tour of the arena, and I really liked everything. I was in the locker rooms of the NHL club and even went to the NBA team,” said Miroshnichenko. “And if you walk along the street, you will not immediately understand that this is an ice palace. It’s so built in the block among the houses that it looks like a supermarket.”

Similar to Ovechkin, he frequently shoots from the left faceoff circle. This shooting characteristic, plus the fact that Ovechkin is also Russian will inspire many comparisons. Especially since Miroshnichenko enjoys scoring goals.

“Yes, it’s convenient for me to shoot from there. Among my first three goals in the MHL, two were from the office.”

Miroshnichenko also answered the standard question of why can’t anyone defend Ovechkin’s shot from his office.

“I do not even know. Maybe he has a radio-controlled puck? Or is there a special stick? Seriously, he’s got it all right. Everything in Washington is designed for Ovi, so that he invests in the shot, and the puck goes where it needs to. When you score from the same place for 17 years, you can do everything with your eyes closed. They give you a pass, you shoot and score. I think Sasha doesn’t really care about this anymore, doing everything on automatic.

The original interview with Match TV can be found here and here.

By Diane Doyle

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Mario Lemieux, A Survivor Of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Reached Out To Capitals Prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko: “We Had A Great Conversation
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Ivan Miroshnichenko Lays HUGE Hit and Scores Goal in First Period of MHL Game
Ivan Miroshnicheno Scores First Goal of Season, Adds An Assist And Scores Shootout Winner In Second Game Back
Report: Ivan Miroshnichenko Cleared To Return To Game Action
Ivan Miroshnichenko Returns To Practice With Avangard Omsk

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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6 Responses to Ivan Miroshnichenko: “I Will Prove That The Club Did Not Make A Mistake With The Choice.”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Loving every bit of this kids attitude

  2. Anonymous says:

    Capital One looks like a supermarket from the streets 😂

  3. KimRB says:

    Here’s a name to keep an eye on for the next draft: Matvei Michkov. Rated as a Top 3 talent, comparable to Patrick Kane, he’s expected to fall, due to being signed to SKA St. Petersburg till 2026. He and Miroschnichenko would compliment each other beautifully on a top line. The aggressive, bull in a China shop, sniper, and the smooth, slippery, playmaker. And they both play their off wing, Miro on the left, Michkov on the right

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Matvei Michkov Has been on my radar for a bit. Seems like a prototypical pick for the Caps, at least in recent years. They like the fallers. Suzdalev was originally projected as a first rounder as well.

      • dwgie26 says:

        Ryan Chelsey was also a first round projection that fell because USDT played him more in a defensive role last year. I’d like to see him in Hershey next year. Lapierre progressing nicely as well.

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