With the 20th pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals have selected Ivan Miroshnichenko from Omski Krylia of Russia
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Tracker
About Ivan Miroshnichenko
A right-shot winger with an elite shot and NHL-ready skating ability, Miroshnichenko has all the makings of a top-six NHL player. Miroshnichenko captained Russia to a gold medal at the 2021 Hlinka-Gretzky Cup and won the silver medal at the 2021 U18 World Junior Championships. In the former, he scored four goals and nine points in five games. At the latter, he scored six goals and eight points in seven games.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Impressively, Miroshnichenko has very little as far as shortcomings to speak of strictly from an on-ice perspective. His shot, skating and two-way game are all NHL-caliber and he’s only 18 years old. Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will be seeking treatment in Germany. There’s a chance he could miss the entirety of the 2022-23 season as he looks to return to full health. Fortunately, this condition is curable and has a fairly high success rate. Should he decide to pursue hockey after he recovers, he has both a high floor and ceiling as an NHL prospect.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Originally born in Siberia, he moved to Moscow at a young age to play youth hockey. He played for Buran Voronezh, and eventually played for Vityaz Podolsk. Avangard Omsk (of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)) then purchased his rights for ₽700,000 ($9,500 USD) in Nov. 2020.
“But earlier in 2020 he signed an agreement to play for the United States Hockey League’s (USHL) Muskegon Lumberjacks, but was denied entry to the US. He was also denied entry to Canada at one point, and neither of these denials have been addressed or explained.
“He was a standout at the 2021 Under-18 World Junior Championship, with six goals and eight points in seven games, helping Russia to a silver medal. In addition, last summer he captained Russia to a gold medal at the prestigious Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, four goals and nine points in five games.
“Based off of the hype from those performances, he was expected to have a huge season in Russia in his first draft eligible year. By all accounts, he has been a slight disappointment, with 10 goals and 16 points in 31 games for Omskie Krylia, the farm team of the KHL’s Avangard Omsk. He’s joined there by Minnesota Wild 2016 draft choice Dmitry Sokolov, who is leading the team in points.
“As a side note, although Miroshnichenko struggled to produce, he was still generating five shot attempts per game. In addition, there is no way for anyone to know how his health issues might have been affecting his performance, so it’s important to take his struggles and shortcomings with a grain of salt. There is still a lot to like about him as a prospect.
“Although his rankings vary widely, from sixth to 30th, he has all the tools to become a lethal scorer in the NHL. He has a similar playing style to Alex Ovechkin, although he is not as highly touted as the ‘great eight’.
“His strength is his shot, he can unload a wrist shot off the rush in a similar way to the aforementioned Russian. It’s NHL ready, quick, and powerful, and he likes to cut from the left towards the middle and fire it toe-drag style against the grain. It’s hard for goalies to pick up, and he does it so fluidly that they rarely have a chance to square up to him. In addition, he has a powerful one-timer, and you guessed it, he sets up in Ovechkin’s office, around the top of the circle, to use it. Although he isn’t as stagnant with his movement on the power play as Ovechkin, he does like to stay on the left circle, ready to shoot at any moment. Being the powerful scorer that he is, he has found other ways to score. He’s not afraid to set up shop in front of the net, or get to dirty areas to knock in some garbage goals. He has the patience to make an extra move in front to give himself a better angle or opportunity.”
How This Affects the Capitals’ Plans
The Capitals are in desperate need of high-end talent in their system and they get exactly that with Miroshnichenko. A high-risk pick for several reasons, but the potential reward is certainly worth it. He is the most talented prospect in the system and will bring a powerful, goalscoring game to the team. There’s a lot to like with this pick and the Capitals have potentially the steal of this draft in Miroshnichenko.
Brandon Share-Cohen has covered the NHL and various professional sports for seven years. Working with The Hockey Writers, Brandon works extensively on covering the Boston Bruins in addition to his role as the News Team Lead.