The Washington Capitals have loaned Ivan Miroshnichenko and Riley Sutter to the Hershey Bears of the AHL and recalled Connor McMichael and Aliaksei Protas to the NHL roster. These moves don’t come as a surprise, as Washington needed to first place Max Pacioretty onto long-term injured reserve before they could finalize their opening night roster.
Of note, Hardy Haman Aktell did not get recalled in this transaction; likely a result of Joel Edmundson not being placed on LTIR to start the season. This is a good sign that Edmundson may not be out for much longer, but Washington will be starting the season with 13 forwards and seven defensemen as a result.
These roster moves are headlined by a pair of former First Round picks – McMichael the 25th selection in 2019 and Miroshnichenko the 20th choice in 2022. McMichael joined the Capitals organization a year after his draft day, playing his rookie season in the AHL during the 2020-21 campaign and scoring 27 points in 33 games. Those were impressive enough numbers to earn McMichael a full-time spot on the NHL roster in 2021-22, although he only managed 18 points in 68 games and ultimately earned a demotion to the AHL for last season. On the other hand, Miroshnichenko is brand new to North American pros, coming over from Russia for Washington’s training camp this year. The 19-year-old has been the focus of a lot of scrutiny when it comes to how he was deployed in Russia – finding himself constantly moving back and forth between the country’s second-tier league and their U21 league, the VHL, and MHL respectively, over the last three seasons. His assignment to Hershey will not only represent his first taste of professional hockey overseas, but it should also provide much-needed roster stability. Miroshnichenko was a highly-regarded prospect in his draft year, so attention will undoubtedly be on him as he begins working toward an NHL role.