The Washington Capitals announced that they have signed forward Ivan Miroshnichenko to a three-year entry-level contract. Senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan made the announcement on Monday. Miroshnichenko will earn $855,000 in the NHL and $82,500 in the AHL.
The Avangard Hockey Club and Miroshnichenko agreed on Monday to a mutual contract termination, according to the club’s official website, allowing him to sign with the Capitals.
“When signing the contract, it was agreed that shall Ivan have a desire to try his hand in North America, the club will let him go there – in the final year of the agreement,” said Anton Kuryanov, Avangard General Manager.
“The forward wants to achieve his dream this year, we won’t stay in his way, even though I believe this decision is premature. Miroshnichenko could try to become a full-time KHLer, especially since Avangard gave him such an opportunity last season. We understand that he was not able to fully participate in preseason training camp due to recovery from illness, which made the end of the season far from being great for him,” added Kuryanov.
The #ALLCAPS signed ’22 #20 pick F Miroshnichenko to 3 year entry level deal:
Signing Bonus 95K
“A” Perf Bonuses Year 1 500K, Year 2 750K, Year 3 1M
Cap Hit 950K, AAV $1.7M
Rep’d by Diamond/Gandler ISAhttps://t.co/o9D16MNi6P
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) May 1, 2023
Miroshnichenko began his hockey career playing for Vityaz Podolsk until the age of 18 when he joined the Avangard system. In 2021 he played for Omskie Yastreby in the MHL and joined the VHL team for the 2021-22 season. Miroshnichenko was also captain for Team Russia when they won gold in the 2021 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup.
2022 was a trying year for Miroshnichenko, as he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in February of that year. After undergoing successful treatment for the disease, which included specialized treatments in Germany, he was cleared by doctors to return to skating and workouts in June of 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.”
Miroshnichenko was subsequently cleared for skating and workouts in June but was not yet cleared to return to hockey in the KHL.
“He’s progressing, he’s skating, he’s working out. He’s not with his KHL team right now,” said Mahoney during Capitals media day back on September of 2022. “He has to kinda wait, almost like a medical clearance from the League. He’s been cleared by doctors, to go out and to workout and to do those sort of things. It’s more of a league thing.”
Mahoney also praised Miroshnichenko’s maturity and mental composure throughout the trying time he has gone through since his diagnosis.
“He was always a captain of his under-17, under-18 team, and even the tournament last November with the under-20 he was the assistant captain, so it is probably an indicator of his character…he went through an awful lot but I think it speaks volumes of his character and the type of person he is,” said Mahoney.
Miroshnichenko was finally cleared to return to the league and work-outs with Avangard Omsk’s VHL (Junior) on October 21. He was subsequently cleared to return to games on November 6, 2022.
Miroshnichenko began his return playing in six games with the Avangard’s MHL team (i.e. Russian Junior League). In those six games, he tallied six goals and recorded two assists.
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) November 16, 2022
Miroshnichenko then made his first appearance with the VHL team on November 21 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 joined the KHL team on December 3 and made his KHL debut on December 4. and scored his first career goal in the KHL on December 26 (More here).
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 played 23 games at the KHL level during the 2022-23 Season, notching three goals before returning to the VHL and MHL squads to finish out the season. Miroshnichenko finished the 2022-23 season with 16 postseason games, totaling 55 games.
The Capitals selected Miroshnichenko, 19, with the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. 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 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.”
MORE FROM CAPITALS
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have signed forward Ivan Miroshnichenko to a three-year entry-level contract, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today. Miroshnichenko will earn $855,000 in the NHL and $82,500 in the AHL.
The Capitals selected Miroshnichenko, 19, with the 20th overall pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. The 6’1”, 185-pound forward recorded four points (3g, 1a) in 23 games with Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) this season, where he averaged 8:27 of ice time per game.
Miroshnichenko also recorded three assists in four games with Omskie Krylia in the Supreme Hockey League (Russia-2) and 14 points (10g, 4a) in 12 games with Omskie Yastreby in the Junior Hockey League (Russia-Jr.) this season. Miroshnichenko tallied seven points (2g, 5a) in 16 playoffs games with Omskie Yastreby, which ranked tied for eighth on the team.
The Ussuriysk, Russia native spent the 2021-22 season with Omsk Krylia and recorded 16 points (10g, 6a) in 31 games. In addition, Miroshnichenko captained Russia to the gold medal at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, where he recorded nine points (4g, 5a) in five games. Miroshnichenko’s nine points during the tournament ranked tied for fourth among all skaters and his +7 plus/minus rating ranked tied for second. Miroshnichenko also represented Russia at the 2021 4 Nations Tournament, where he recorded two points (1g, 1a) in three games.
By Jon Sorensen
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