Ivan Miroshnichenko Makes KHL Debut

Photo: Avangard/KHL

Washington Capitals forward prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko has had a very productive month of hockey after returning from his treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On Sunday he made the next big step in his hockey career, starting for Avangard’s KHL team. It was his first game ever played in Russia’s top league.

Miroshnichenko (yellow Jersey) made his first appearance with KHL club early on Saturday at the team’s morning practice. [Videos courtesy of Avangard’s Instagram account].

Miroshnichenko donned his designated #63 for the contest, which was displayed by Avangard on their social media channels.

On Sunday Miroshnichenko took the traditional rookie solo lap before the start of the game against Traktor at Omsk Arena.

Miroshnichenko also led the team in final pregame activities prior to returning to the room for pregame.

Miroshnichenko skated as a 13th forward and saw minor time on ice (4:28) as the game was more or less for getting his feet wet. He did record two hits in that small amount of ice time he did get.

Miroshnichenko completed treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma in June and returned to workouts with the MHL club on October 21. He was cleared to return to game action on November 8.

Miroshnichenko began his return to the game of hockey playing in six games with the MHL team (i.e. Russian Junior League). In those six games, he tallied six goals and recorded two assists.

Miroshnichenko then made his first appearance with the VHL team on Monday in a game  against Metallurg Novokuznetsk (More here.). It was his first game with the VHL team since being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma back in February. He recorded two primary assists in the game.

Miroshnichenko returned to the MHL squad on Thursday and recorded a goal and an assist. Including his goal on Saturday, he now has eight goals and five assists in his first nine games played following his recovery from Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Miroshnichenko was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma back in February, but was cleared by doctors to return to skating and workouts after successfully completing a course of treatment in Germany in back June.

Capitals assistant general manager Ross Mahoney told NHL.com that Washington’s medical staff examined Miroshnichenko’s health records, and that he felt good about the player’s status following a video conference with him in May.

“I was in Germany in April at the Under-18 World Championship and met Ivan and his father,” Mahoney said. “I think he was already in his second round of chemotherapy, and he had lost a lot of weight, lost his hair, and he was wearing a cap. He looked really thin and I thought, ‘What a tough situation.’ Then we did a Zoom call with him in May when he was finishing up his treatments, and he looked a lot better.”

The Capitals ultimately selected Miroshnichenko in the first round (#20 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft held on July 7.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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11 Responses to Ivan Miroshnichenko Makes KHL Debut

  1. Anonymous says:

    Incredible story! Thank you for keeping us posted.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Queue the “call him up” criesz

  3. Anonymous says:

    Miro is my hero. You can use that! 😂

  4. Anonymous says:

    What’s the timeline for Miro. I know he’s under contract with Avangard.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      He’s under county’s top for two additional seasons, although those deal can sometimes be squashed. At 18, that may be good. Capitals Mahoney has said they aren’t going to rush him. He needs a full season in KHL in my opinion, unless he goes crazy this season. I’d expect him in Hershey/DC a year from next September at the earliest.

  5. Jonathan says:

    So glad he had a nice crowd in his debut, and the media support he’s getting there is encouraging as well. Glad he has a nice international cheerleading section both here and there to encourage him in his journey: you too Jon!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic! New heights reached for Miro.

  7. novafyre says:

    Wow. Thought after his first trip to the VHL and then return to the MHL he would go back up to the VHL for a while. Didn’t think he would be visiting the KHL.

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