Washington Capitals prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko scored his first career goal in the KHL on Monday. The goal came at 16:24 of the first period in Avangard’s tilt with Barys Astana.
Welcome to the big stage, kid!
18-year-old Ivan Miroshnichenko scores first KHL career goal! pic.twitter.com/v4NZI7g7Qa
— KHL (@khl_eng) December 26, 2022
Miroshnichenko finished Monday’s game with a goal on two shots. He had one hit in 8:19 of ice time.
“I dedicate this goal to my family and loved ones, after all, a difficult path has passed. We were all together, no one left me,” Miroshnichenko told the media following the game.
“I think we can already say that I have adapted to the KHL. Probably, I have earned the coaches trust, so I can play more and more with each match.”
Miroshnichenko has now played in seven games in the KHL and averaged seven minutes of ice time. He has primarily started at left wing on the 4th line, as he did on Monday, but has played one game at left wing on the third line.
Miroshnichenko has had a very productive month of hockey after returning from his treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma. On December 4 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.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) December 27, 2022
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 back in June.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) December 26, 2022
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
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