Washington Capitals 2022 No. 1 pick Ivan Miroshnichenko: ‘Joining the Capitals is a huge honour’

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Photo: @Capitales

The Washington Capitals are renowned for recruiting and developing top talent over their 48-year history and on Thursday, July 7, they added what they hope will be the next name on that list as the winger. Russian left Ivan Miroshnichenko with the 20th overall. selection in the 2022 NHL Draft. The Capitals’ newest prospect spoke to the media through a translator after becoming the team’s newest signing.

The Capitals’ most notable Russian recruits include first-round pick and franchise face Alex Ovechkin in 2004, as well as names such as Alex Semin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov more recently. In 2015, the team selected goaltender Ilya Samsonov with the 22nd overall pick and defender Alexander Alexeyev 31st overall in 2018.

“It’s a great feeling. It’s such a big organization, there are so many great players, Russian players, so joining them is a huge honor.

The 18-year-old striker has had a trying 2022, having been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in March. The former captain of Russia’s 2021 gold-medal-winning Hlinka-Gretzky Cup team recorded 10 goals and six assists in 31 games played last season for Russian second division side Omskie Krylia.

“The last few months have been great. Obviously, before, it was difficult times, but before, when I was in Russia, it was great. The plan is for me to stay here [North America]obviously I have the development camp coming here, but then the plan is for me to join my team in Omskie.

The native of Primorsky Krai, Russia (listed as 6’1″, 185 pounds) was likely heading for a higher selection prior to his diagnosis, but his skill and game sample size earned him positive reviews from the from league scouts.

“At that time, I had the feeling [on whether he would be selected by the Caps]. Everything I need to work on and I hope the coaches can help me. I always try to get back on the ice, been there about 10 times now. I just got back on the ice.

The Capitals’ decision to draft Miroshnichenko is a high-risk, high-reward selection, but the young forward’s game potential leaves many feeling positive about the choice. After being cleared a month ago to return to skating, the night couldn’t have ended on a better note for the new Caps first-round selection.

Watch Miroshnichenko’s full interview below.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of die-hard Capitals fans and has been watching games for as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a die-hard Caps fan, owner of the very first Joe Beninati jersey and since then has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after meeting Schmidt at a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to watch the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV’s SafariLive live game drives, and wildlife watching in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at Capital Development Camp).

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