Capitals’ first-round pick Ivan Miroshnichenko skating, not yet cleared for KHL

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Caps’ draft pick Miroshnichenko skating, not yet cleared for KHL originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ARLINGTON, Va. — Capitals’ 2022 first-round pick Ivan Miroshnichenko is skating and working out in Russia but is still awaiting clearance from the KHL to return to organized play, assistant GM Ross Mahoney shared at Washington’s rookie camp Monday.

Miroshnichenko, 18, landed with the Capitals at No. 20 overall in this summer’s NHL Draft. Originally projected as a top-10 pick, the Russian forward was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in March. His road to recovery has included multiple rounds of chemotherapy treatments, though he returned to the ice in June.

“He’s progressing,” Mahoney said. “He’s skating, he’s working out. He’s not with his KHL team right now. He has to kind of wait for a medical clearance from the league. He’s been cleared by doctors to go out, to work out and do those sort of things but it’s more of a league thing where he’s just waiting to get clearance.”

Mahoney expects Miroshnichenko to make it to the KHL this season. He spent the 2021-22 campaign with the Omskie Krylia of the VHL, Russia’s second hockey division behind the KHL, scoring 10 goals with six assists in 31 games. After losing a lot of weight doing chemo, Miroshnichenko is working out with his father to get back in hockey shape.

“I remember seeing him in the u18 World Championships in Germany,” Mahoney said.” He was there to do another round of chemo. He had no hair, his blue jeans looked like they were just sort of hanging on his hips. Didn’t look good at all and I talked to him there.

“We obviously interviewed him after that and then interviewed him at the draft. I think he’s a really strong character. He went through an awful lot but I think it speaks volumes of his character and the type of person he is.”