2022 NHL Draft Tracker: Ivan Miroshnichenko
With a plethora of young talent coming through the pipeline in Russia, one player to keep an eye on is Ivan Miroshnichenko.
He has already had his name thrown around to be a top-five prospect at the 2022 NHL Draft. We got to see an early glimpse of the future when Shane Wright and Canada took on Miroshnichenko and Russia at the 2021 IIHF Under-18 World Junior Championship last April.
This year, he will be entering his first full season in the Supreme Hockey League (VHL) with Omskie Krylia, where he looks to take the throne as the top goal scorer in the draft.
“Miroshnichenko is among the top pure goal scoring talents available in the 2022 NHL Draft and rivals many of the other top shooters that have come through the draft in recent years,” FCHockey scout Brandon Holmes said.” He excels at attacking on the rush with his high-end mobility and can shoot in stride with exceptional power, quickness, and accuracy.
“Miroshnichenko can shoot off both feet, pick corners from the circle, and has a lethal one-timer that he’s always looking to unleash on the power play.”
WHO IS IVAN MIROSHNICHENKO?
Miroshnichenko was born in Ussuriysk, Russia and was a member of the Vityaz Podolsk program up until the 2020-21 season — when he was part of a transfer that lead him to be member of the Avangard Omsk system. He is the franchise all-time points and goals leader for Vityaz, where he amassed 53 points (36 goals, 17 assists) in 25 games.
When he was 12-years-old, he played in the WSI Under-12 tournament where he registered 27 points (20 goals, seven assists) in just nine games. It was evident that even at a young age, Miroshnichenko was a certified sniper and the hype surrounding him could be taken seriously.
He has risen through the ranks, and dominated every level he’s played at in Russia. He was selected with the No. 43 pick in the 2021 CHL Import Draft by Acadie-Bathurst Titan. Miroshnichenko has no plans to make the jump to North America quite yet, and there’s almost no chance we could see him in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) prior to making his jump to the NHL.
During the 2018-19 Russia U16 season, Miroshnichenko registered 53 points (36 goals, 17 assists) in 25 games and helped lead them to the Russia U16 Finals. He also represented the Team Center U16 club at the Districts Cup where he recorded 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in eight games.
The next season he found himself splitting games between the Russia U17, and U18 leagues. While playing for Vityaz Podolsk in the U17 league, he recorded 18 points (11 goals, seven assists) in 16 games. He was given a promotion to the U18 league where he went on to put up 13 points (10 goals, four assists) in eight games.
Last year, his rights were transferred to Avangard Omsk and he represented Omskie Yastreby in the MHL and he recorded 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 20 games. After a solid performance in the MHL he was once again promoted where he will see action in the VHL this season.
Miroshnichenko has represented Russia at the international stage a number of times over his young career. In 2019-20 he was a member and captain of Team Russia at the Youth Olympic Games, where he went on to record 12 points (six goals, six assists) in four games. He represented Russia at the World Junior Under-18 Championship in Texas this past April, where we got to see Miroshnichenko and Wright battle it out. Miroshnichenko registered eight points (six goals, two assists) capturing a silver medal. He also made an appearance this year at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, recording nine points (four goals, five assists) and taking home the gold medal.
There’s been no shortage of success this young season, either.
In the VHL with Omskie Krylia, Miroshnichenko has already amassed six points (three goals, three assists) in 15 games — pacing the almost two-dozen NHL Draft eligibles currently skating in the league.
One of Miroshnichenko’s biggest assets is his hard and deadly accurate shot.
Miroshnichenko possesses a deadly release, making him one of the most pure and talented goal scorers throughout his draft class. This is a skill that he has relentlessly developed over the course of his young career. When you combine that elite shooting ability with his elite skating and puck creativity, he becomes a player that you can’t keep your eyes off of. He is also not afraid to play the physical game and will often finish checks hard, and attempt to break up the play in transition. He has been described as a “pest” to play against.
“Miroshnichenko is a dynamic offensive talent, he combines a unique combination of high-end skating ability with elite offensive instincts and a deadly shot that will challenge goalies at every level,” FCHockey scout Austin Broad said. “The thing that separates him though is his physical ability. Most highly skilled players don’t have the ability to run you over like a freight train while you’re skating through the neutral zone but Miroshnichenko does.”
MIROSHNICHENKO’S AREAS OF IMPROVEMENTS
When it comes to Miroshnicenkos areas of improvement, he’s much like top-prospect, Shane Wright. There are almost no flaws to his game. His shot is lethal, his skating ability is supreme, he transitions well, and he is not afraid to sacrifice the body. With all that said, Miroshnichenko has yet to play hockey in a North American league, that alone could dictate how his future pans out. Though, he has dominated every league he has played at so far in his young career.
“Where I had issues with Miroshnichenko in my previous viewing was in his consistency in his effort when the puck was on the opposition’s stick, and I was disappointed to see this was largely still an issue for me in this game,”FCHockey Scout Brandon Holmes said.” More often than not, Miroshnichenko could have served to be more aggressive in his puck pursuit on the forecheck and often elected to play passively on opposing defenders, allowing the opposition to exit their own zone more easily than I would have cared for.”
All in all, Ivan Miroshnichenko is a top-five, if not top-3 prospect for the 2022 NHL Draft. We will get to see more of him in a North American setting when he crosses the Atlantic Ocean for the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship in December. He is currently playing with Omskie Krylia of the VHL, where he has five points (three goals, two assists) in 14 games.
Get ready for a major battle between Miroshnichenko and fellow 2022 top-prospect, Shane Wright at this year’s World Junior Championship.