Avangard Hockey Club and Washington Capitals first round draft pick Ivan Miroshnichenko have agreed to a mutual contract termination, according to the club’s official website.
“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.
“Nevertheless, he managed to perform a real sports feat – he returned to play and kept scoring points in every game. Unfortunately, due to objective and subjective reasons, in the JHL playoffs we didn’t see the Ivan Miroshnichenko that we expected to see. In any case, he has made his decision and we have kept our word. We wish Ivan good luck and good health.”
Related: Ivan Miroshnichenko: 2022-23 Annual Review And Forecast
Miroshnichenko, 19, was selected by the Washington Capitals in the first round (#20 overall) of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. The 6’1”, 195lb right-hander hails from Primorsky Krai, Russia, where he developed his game and ultimately garnered the attention of KHL and NHL scouts.
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.
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 score his first career goal in the KHL on December 26 (More here). He 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.
By Jon Sorensen
Ivan Miroshnichenko: 2023 Annual Review and Forecast
Ivan Miroshnichenko Makes KHL Debut
Ivan Miroshnichenko Scores First Postseason Goal
Ivan Miroshnichenko Scores 3rd Career KHL Goal On 19th Birthday
Ivan Miroshnichenko Scores First Career Goal In KHL
Ivan Miroshnichenko: I Will Prove that the team did not make a mistake with the choice
Mario Lemieux, A Survivor Of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Reached Out To Capitals Prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko: “We Had A Great Conversation
Ivan Miroshnichenko Continues Goal-Scoring Streak
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
Miroshnichenko can sign with the Caps now and compete for a roster spot at training camp in September 2023.
He’ll be in Hershey for a year or two. Would love to see him sign an ATO with Bears right now just so he can join the team and get acclimated to North America.
What could he do under an ATO right now? I know the ECHL has special playoff rosters. Can the AHL teams add players at will?
Just spending time in Hershey would be a huge benefit, before September rolls around. He barely speaks any English
Excellent news!! Ummm, ahl, couldn’t crack KHL, he’s not making nhl roster.
Agree. He’s headed for Hershey.
He’s checked the box “playing with mature players.” He’s smart and I feel that he knows that now he needs to check the boxes “learn English” and “the North American rink.” So he expects to start the year in Hershey. But I think he is a quick learner and a hard worker, and, if we get Caps staff interested in developing prospects, I think he’ll have his opportunities in DC.
I wrote a week ago: “I would love to see him in Hershey on a NA sized rink, learning NHL style of play and English. I believe Malkin successfully broke his KHL contract to come to Pits a year early and I also think some non-Russian players have broken their KHL contracts since Ukraine. Would this be a possibility? What is his military draft status? Do you expect him to be in any Caps camps this summer/fall?”
You’re an oracle lol, I genuinely thought he would be in the KHL next season
Same here. He’s just 19. One more to try and get mor KHL time seemed like a really good plan.
Even a broken clock is right twice a day. I guess I have one more thing I can get right today.
Just reading him, I felt he really, really wanted to get over here, to get started on his NHL dream. He knows that he needs to learn English and needs to learn the NA rink and game. At some point, someone may need to sit down with him and tell him to slow down, Rome wasn’t built in a day. But he is driven. Look how he moved up when we kept thinking he wouldn’t.
Genuinely surprised that a KHL team would let a player like him go like that, especially in today’s world. Excited to see him in Hershey next season, and hopefully in some Caps games by the end of the season. Miro, Lapierre, and Sudz will be a lethal combo in another cup run for this team.
Not everything over there is big bad evil Putin media drama. If one of our young players wanted to terminate his contract and return home to play in a euro league I highly doubt we’d prevent them from doing that. Maybe miro and his agent told the team they think the best step for his development is to move to NA and his KHL team wants to do right by their guy because they’re not the evil Russians.
When I had employees, I always encouraged them to learn new things, to expand their responsibilities, to grow, even though I knew it meant many would leave and go on to better things. But I always had people wanting to work for me because of it. Too many colleagues tried to stifle their subordinate’s opportunities. They ended up with employees with little drive or ambition. Someone over there is realizing that helping players reach their dreams will bring in better results.
I wasn’t really saying evil Russia, I was just commenting on the fact that Miro probably takes a huge step forward this next season and was surprised that Omsk would let a promising young player go early. Playing in the KHL is harder competition than playing in the AHL
Sign him to an ATO!
Bring him to me!
I got a general question. Shouldn’t we be concerned that Peter Laviolette wanted out? Has Washington become a less desirable job? And why?
Back when I subbed as a teacher, I was really good in some subjects and just ok in others. So, if offered a choice, I took jobs I preferred (I didn’t take jobs that I knew I was really bad at). Despite his recent comments, I don’t believe that Lavi wanted to develop young players. He wanted to work with vets. Players who had already reached a certain level of knowledge and experience. This is what he expected when he signed on. As it became obvious that the Caps were going to have to change, he decided that this was not what he wanted to do. I don’t think it says anything about the players or Caps management, just the direction of the team.
I think it’s become a less desirable coaching position since 2018. Lavi said he wanted to continue coaching, and there are only so many jobs, so to quit this one is saying something.
So what has changed since he accepted the job to make it less desirable? Not just to him (since I think that is simply a vets/prospect thing) but to all HC candidates?
The team has shifted focus from winning a cup to chasing a record and appeasing aging veterans.
You are so right there. The Caps have become the Yankees when Steinbrenner owned them without the winning. Changing coaches and concentrating on getting older experienced players rather than developing younger talent is is their way the past several years. they talk about retooling rather than rebuilding but with a salary cap that is hard. Better to trade the older expensive players even if you have to take a discount on them by not taking back a bad contract than to flounder around trying to “retool” and staying mediocre for more years than a rebuild would last.
As Fyre said, it is will a very attractive job for someone who is good at developing talent. But also a chance to be part of history and winning a Cup because the Caps definitely haven’t given up on that for the next three years. But that isn’t the right job for Lavi and he knows it.
Also, he was being humble and veiled like he always is. There will be teams lining up for him. Maybe Calgary now.
And Ovi, barring injury or WW3, will be making NHL history. It is a chance for a coach to be part of that. Miro wants to play with Ovi. That college kid EBUG that one game talked about Ovi’s shot whistling past his ear. It is a big deal. There are only 3 active members of the 500 club — Ovi, Sid, and Stammer.
I’m going to hold my judgement on Caps plans until I see who gets hired as coaches. If Lavi had been renewed, I would agree. But now that he is gone, I’m waiting for the Caps to tell us.
Looking forward to what he can do in Hershey! Hopefully he makes it up to the Caps before too long.
This is excellent news, especially after the Caps disaster year
GM Mac has lots of detractors, but he and Ross Mahoney continue to stock the Caps franchise with top quality talents. They do so even without super-high draft picks. It’s now up to “Caps Management” and Bears too, to elevate all these talented whiz-kids into an NHL powerhouse. I’m ready!
Let him marinate in Hershey for 8-9 years,
Two years in Hershey and he’ll be ready to go.
Really excited to see this happen. Clear moves are being made and now we know Miro is up for that. There is a quicker path to NHL in Washington forming. And as I type this I see he signed with Caps. Movement and change is happening people!
AHL and KHL are roughly equivalent, so if he wasnt even a regular KHL player Im not sure this is the right move. He should stay in the KHL where the language and culture differences arent a distraction and move up with a firm foundation in the KHL
I just think there is a different tenor coming from management (Ted, Dick, GMBM)… we are going to swing pendulum to fast build of young talent. They are accelerating now instead of pumping the brakes.
For next year (23-24), I think there will be two new top six players but they will be young veterans. That means hopefully 2 going out, maybe 1. Still 3-4 spots for system players with less than 100 games. Alexyev, Malensyn, Protas, McMichael, Snively, Frank, Lapierre, others will have lineup-callup potential.
Then two years from now a whole new crop will be lineup/call-up ready including the ones mentioned above who may end up in Hershey, Miro, Iorio, Chesley, Rybinski, Sudzalev, Borgan, others. Maybe our pick this year. But you need people like Miro, Iorio, Sudzalev getting AHL time. Fine with Chesley in MN for another year which is why he is 2 years away.
But all in all, I’m excited about a phased youth movement with some legit top 6 mixed in.