Ivan Miroshnichenko is a 2022 NHL draft-eligible prospect who hails from Ussuriysk, Russia, a town located approximately 247.0 km (154 miles) northeast of the North Korean border.
He was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March, prematurely ending his season to focus on his health. As of June 3, Miroshnichenko was given the green light to return to training after completing treatment. He’s expected to be ready to go next season.
Health aside, the Russian forward is a top-10 talent that could slide to the LA Kings, who hold the No. 19 overall pick in next month’s draft. Miroshnichenko played his youth hockey for the Vityaz Podolsk U17 and U18 clubs in the 2019-20 season, scoring a combined 21 goals and 11 assists for 32 points in only 24 games.
The following season, he joined Omskie Yastreby of the MHL, tallying five goals with 10 assists and a +5 in 20 games. At the U18 World Juniors, he was one of the tournament’s best players, scoring six goals and eight points in a seven-game sample size en route to a silver medal.
At the Hlinka Gretzky Cup last summer, he continued his strong play in international play, captaining Team Russia while leading by example with four goals and five assists for nine points helping his team win the gold medal.
This past season, Miroshnichenko was elevated to Omskie Krylia of the VHL, the second-tier hockey league in Russia, putting up an impressive 10 goals and six assists in 31 games prior to his diagnosis. He put up the most points for Omskie for players who played in fewer than 35 games.
- D.O.B – February 4, 2004
- Age – 18
- Place of Birth – Ussuriysk, Russia
- Draft Eligibility – 2022
- Height – 6-foot-1
- Weight – 185 lbs
- Position – Left Wing
- Shoots – Right
- Ranked #17 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
- Ranked #33 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
- Ranked #24 by FCHOCKEY
- Ranked #6 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
- Ranked #19 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
- Ranked #15 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
- Ranked #11 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
- Ranked #27 by SPORTSNET
- Ranked #22 by ISS HOCKEY
- Ranked #15 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
- Ranked #25 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
- Ranked #12 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
- Ranked #28 by SMAHT SCOUTING
- Ranked #8 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
Corey Pronman’s Analysis
Miroshnichenko is a player with all the attributes you want in a top NHL winger. He’s got good size and strength. He’s a strong skater. He’s highly skilled. He can make plays and he’s highly competitive. His shot is a bullet and can be a weapon from the flank on a pro power play. He can beat defenders with speed, he can put pucks through legs, he can create at even strength and on the power play. He has a bulky frame and can play a powerful style of game. He has the tools and track record of a projected top line winger, but given his diagnosis he is being placed several tiers below that due to the significant uncertainty in his future projection — despite positive developments since the initial diagnosis.
Scott Wheeler’s Analysis
There are some exciting attributes to his game and it’s well rounded, so it’s never been hard to understand the appeal. He’s got an athletic pro frame. He shoots it hard (both his wrister and his one-timer/off one-touch shots) from mid range, giving him clear power-play upside. He’s a powerful skater through his edges and crossovers. He’s got good playmaking instincts. He’s a dexterous player who catches bad passes, manages to keep control when the play breaks down or the ice is choppy, and gets his stick on tips, etc. And he’s noticeably engaged shift to shift without the puck. My big hiccup with him is that I don’t find him to be a great problem-solver. While he can make the first play he sees on instinct, he doesn’t do a good job breaking down the play to think it through. No matter where he lands on draft day, it’ll be a testament to his status as a prospect and the pro style that he played before the diagnosis.
The Hockey Writer’s Analysis
Miroshnichenko has an innate ability and drive to hunt and find loose pucks. He’s patient at the net front, and doesn’t venture into overcrowded areas. Instead, he waits for the puck to squirt loose, and pounces with authority. He gets himself open though the neutral zone and attacks with speed and solid support of the puck carrier. He easily finds space in the offensive zone to unleash his one-timer. He has no trouble identifying the most dangerous play, and prefers to keep possession if there aren’t any viable options. He doesn’t force flashy plays even when they seem enticing.
Last Word on Hockey’s Analysis
The hope is that Miroshnichenko can fully recover and continue his hockey career. Obviously, though the risk of him not playing again, or not being the same player is one that NHL teams will need to assess prior to drafting him. That said, if Miroshnichenko can return to playing hockey at a high level, he has the potential to be a first-line winger and big-time sniper. The team that takes a chance on him will also have to wait a bit, as Miroshnichenko is expected to miss the entire season in 2022-23. While this isn’t a talent comparison or a career projection, his game is stylistically similar to Alexander Ovechkin.
(All videos courtesy of InStat)