Welcome to Hockey Wilderness’ coverage of the 2022 NHL Draft. We will not act like experts, nor will we act like we have watched hours of footage of these players. So instead, we have opted to rely on the opinion of people who have, and have compiled plenty of information from different publications regarding these prospects. Note: This is not a ranking, but just going down a list of interesting draft-eligible dudes without any order in mind.
Ivan Miroshnichenko’s past year has been a ride.
Early on in the season, some draft experts had the tantalizing winger project as a top ten pick. With his alluring mix of powerful skating, a booming one-timer and serviceable playmaking, Miroshnichenko looked like he could be a huge win for the team lucky enough to draft him. He looked like he had all the intangibles you want out of a player, serving as captain for gold-winning Russia at the 2021 Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
A slow start to the 2021-22 season changed a lot of that. In his first season in the VHL with Omskie Krylia, he struggled to contribute, and his inability to process the game at a higher level started to show off the blemishes in his game. And the bombshell of a Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis at the beginning of March seemed like it could derail his entire career.
It’s challenging to write about any perceived flaws in Miroshnichenko’s because of his health issues. It’s not that there isn’t any — his ability to process the game and decision-making are areas he needs to improve — it’s just that his diagnosis is a stiff reminder that these draft profiles are of kids, and this is their future on the line.
Thankfully, Miroshnichenko completed treatment at the beginning of June and was cleared for practice. On pace to return to play next season, he poses an attractive boom-or-bust candidate on the draft board.
#11 (EU skaters) by NHL Central Scouting
#6 by McKenzie/TSN (midseason)
#34 by Dobber Prospects (April)
#28 by Wheeler/The Athletic
#31 by EliteProspects
What Scouts Are Saying
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. — Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
People may not like this, but I see a bit of Jake Virtanen in Ivan Miroshnichenko— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) January 21, 2022
Speed, shot, and aggression but with question marks in the thinking category https://t.co/6kIlf8A6cY
Highly talented offensive weapon that can impact the game with his shot as well as his passing ability. Needs to become more consistent with his compete level but has the raw skill to be a star in the NHL. — Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
Would They Fit In With The Wild?
Despite some high projections for Miroshnichenko’s draft position, he is likely to be a long-term project. He’s a talented LW, with offensive skill and motor. He’d fit right in with the team, but it’s likely going to be a few years before he ever sees the NHL.
Can The Wild Get Them?
More so than other notable names in the draft, it’s a crapshoot. Some teams could see the leadership qualities, the skating, the shot and the talent and be willing to chalk up Miroshnichenko’s draft year up as a year filled with challenges. Another team might see a risk that they aren’t willing to take. The Athletic had him going #28 to the Buffalo Sabres in their mock draft, so in certain universes, he’d certainly be available for the Minnesota Wild, but it’s likely that another team swings for the fences before.
A Minnesota Relation
We didn’t see him for long, but a low-grade Alex Tuch might closest thing the Wild have had to Miroshnichenko. If that is setting the bar too high, then a mix between Tuch and Jordan Greenway might also be fair, although Miroshnichenko lacks the Big Rig’s size.
2022 NHL Draft Board
- Shane Wright — C, Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
- Logan Cooley — C, U.S. National U18 Team (USDP)
- Juraj Slafkovsky — LW, TPS (Liiga)
- Matthew Savoie — C, Winnipeg Ice (WHL)
- Simon Nemec — D, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
- David Jiříček — D, HC Plzeň (Czechia)
- Ivan Miroshnichenko — LW, Omskie Krylia (VHL)