One of the top prospects for the 2022 draft–at least before the recent invasion of Ukraine poured doubt onto the futures of all Russian prospects–was Ivan Miroshnichenko, a brilliant skater that combines good size with uncanny offensive instincts. The 18-year-old was expected to go right near the top of the board, with one scout even putting him first overall in Bob McKenzie’s midseason poll for TSN. Now, it’s unclear when Miroshnichenko will even play hockey again.
The Russian Ice Hockey Federation announced this morning that the young forward has been diagnosed with a serious health issue and could miss the entire 2022-23 season. He is currently receiving medical treatment in Germany, and Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet has confirmed that Miroshnichenko has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. The disease is “the most common form” according to Friedman, and is curable.
At this point, it’s completely unclear how this will affect Miroshnichenko’s draft position, though it seems very likely that he will drop out of the first few selections. Those choices are so valuable to teams that even with his unique blend of skills–skills that could potentially give him the highest upside in the entire draft–it’s likely too much of a risk to use one on him unless there is more clear progress in the coming months. The NHL draft is set for July 7 this year.
This isn’t the first time a young Russian forward has received some bad medical news recently. Rodion Amirov of the Toronto Maple Leafs is also receiving treatment in Germany after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.