Washington Capitals prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko has stood out the moment he took the ice at this year’s development camp. This is the first time the Russian forward has participated in on-ice activities for the Capitals since being drafted by the team in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.
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.
Miroshchenko reflected on his first days at MedStar Capitals Iceplex on Monday when he met with the media for the first time.
“It’s been great. Obviously it’s been hard but all my teammates have been great,” Miroshnichenko said. “Everyone’s smiling and having a great time. So it’s been a tremendous experience.”
The 20th overall selection started his season with the Omskie Yastreby of the MHL (Russia Junior League) and had a great start racking up five goals in his first five games. He finished the year with 14 points (10 goals, four assists) in only 12 games.
Now that we have seen him play, one thing has stood out: his shot. Miroshnichenko hit about five posts on Sunday in one of the shooting drills. It is very deceptive and it can throw goaltenders off.
— Jacob Cheris (@JCheris17) July 1, 2023
“It’s quick, it’s a snapshot. It’s funny he got me pretty good on one of those breakaway shots at the end of practice there,” goaltender Mitchell Gibson said. “He’s a little bit of a wizard with a puck and he can do whatever he wants. So just kind of being ready. Staying patient and having my eyes on it the whole time and trying to react quickly.”
The combination of power, accuracy and quickness makes it an NHL ready shot. The 19-year-old models his shot after Alex Ovechkin and Nathan MacKinnon, which makes sense considering Ovechkin is all about power, and MacKinnon has a very quick release. He does not need to put a lot of his weight into his stick to get that kind of release.
The Capitals signed Miroshnichenko to a three-year, entry level contract back in May after he terminated his contract with the KHL, giving him the ability to play overseas this year. With the type of shot he has, there is no question he can make the Hershey Bears’ roster and has a decent shot at earning a spot in Washington’s lineup.
“It’s been my dream to play in the NHL so I’m just pursuing my dream,” Miroshnichenko said. It’s the next step for me. So that’s why I made that decision.”
By Jacob Cheris
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