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
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
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