“I Think Just One Game Up Top Is Going To Benefit Him Tremendously”: Ivan Miroshnichenko A Healthy Scratch For Hershey Bears’ Game Against Bridgeport Islanders
Joe Noyes Photography/NoVa Caps
The Washington Capitals’ 2022 first-round pick, Russian forward Ivan Miroshnichenko, is in his first season of professional hockey in North America and as with any young player, some growing pains are to be expected. On Saturday, Miroshnichenko experienced such a moment when he was made a healthy scratch by Hershey Bears Head Coach Todd Nelson.
Miroshnichenko, who scored a goal on Friday night, has recorded four goals and eight points in 15 games played this season and although he has been productive in his first professional season with Hershey, the 19-year old forward is still very much in the developmental stage of his career.
Ivan Miroshnichenko is a healthy scratch. Bears head coach Todd Nelson: “Same case as Lapierre last year. I know he scored the goal, but you gotta look what happened before it, there were some missed assignments” #ALLCAPS
— Capitals Prospects (@jon_m_sorensen) November 18, 2023
“I know he scored the goal, but you gotta look what happened before it, there were some missed assignments”, said Nelson, who likened Miroshnichenko’s situation to fellow Capitals first-round pick Hendrix Lapierre, who made the jump to the pros last season and hit a similar skid.
“I just want him to go up there and sit with [Bears defenseman Dmitry) Osipov, and just watch the game from up top. Sometimes when you go up top and watch the game it kinda slows down in your mind.”
Miroshnichenko, who participated in the Capitals’ annual prospect Development Camp and the NHL club’s training camp, would be wise to look at Lapierre’s 2022-23 season. After breaking camp with the Caps (and scoring his first NHL goal in his first NHL game), the 2020 top pick was re-assigned to Hershey, where he eventually met the growing pains that often come in young players’ careers. Some “tough love” from Nelson and the Bears’ coaching staff saw Lapierre finish the season sixth in scoring on the Bears with 30 Points (15G, 15A).
With a look toward getting younger in the coming seasons, the Capitals will no doubt have Miroshnichenko in mind as that time comes. Having adjusted fairly well already, this temporary blemish only looks to help.
“This guy’s only 19-years old, so this is an investment to his NHL career”, said Nelson, “There’s a lot of positives with him, he can score goals. When he wants to compete hard, he’s tough with the puck. But we just want him to find that consistency.”
“I think just one game for him watch up top is gonna benefit him tremendously.”
More Ivan Miroshnichenko:
Ivan Miroshnichenko Scores First Career AHL Goal, Bears Down Bruins, 3-2
Ivan Miroshnichenko “Sticking” To Alex Ovechkin’s Tools Of The Trade
Capitals Sign Ivan Miroshnichenko To Three-Year Entry-Level Deal