Brand-new Flame Daniil Miromanov is a big offensive defenceman with something to prove

Photo credit:Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
1 month ago
Oftentimes, AHL players are described as being ‘dime-a-dozen.’ That descriptor absolutely does not apply to Daniil Miromanov.
You might expect a 6’4″, 207-pound defenceman to be a bruising enforcer. That isn’t really Miromanov’s game. In fact, he’s a former winger who only shifted to playing defence during his time with the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan.
As such, Miromanov is much more of a finesse player than your typical big-bodied right-handed rearguard. He managed 40 points in 53 games with the AHL’s Henderson Silver Knights just two seasons ago. And now, he’s the newest member of the Calgary Flames.
Late on Wednesday night, the Flames officially completed a long-gestating deal with the Vegas Golden Knights that saw Noah Hanifin head to the Sin City in exchange for two conditional draft picks and Miromanov, who promptly signed a two-year extension with Calgary.
For an extended period of time in the late 2000s and early-to-mid 2010s, the Flames never once had a single Russian player on their roster. Now, the Flames have the most Dan Milstein clients of any team in the entire league. (Milstein represents the vast majority of players from Russia and its surrounding countries.)
Miromanov is somewhat unique for a Russian-born player in that he spent much of his critical devlopment time as a teenager in North America, playing in the well-regarded Toronto Jr. Canadiens system in the GTHL before making the jump to the QMJHL in the 2015–16 season.
After spending two seasons with Acadie-Bathurst, Miromanov bounced around a bit. He split the 2017–18 season between KHL club HC Sochi and the QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, playing alongside Jakob Pelletier with the latter. He briefly played with Pardubice in the Czech Extraliga in 2018–19 before joining the ECHL’s Manchester Monarchs to finish the season.
But after returning to Russia in 2019, Miromanov started to take some significant steps forward. He collected 22 points in 43 games with SKA-Neva St. Petersburg in the second-tier VHL in 2019–20, which prompted HC Sochi to take notice and bring him back into the KHL for the 2020–21 season. It was the right call.
At just 23 years of age, Miromanov led all Sochi defenders that season with 10 goals and 29 points in 58 games. That proved to be more than enough to draw the attention of NHL clubs, and Miromanov ultimately signed an entry-level deal with the Golden Knights in March of 2021.
Miromanov has spent most of his time with the Silver Knights since returning to North America, collecting 21 goals and 68 points in 95 games over parts of four seasons in the minors. He quickly established himself as Henderson’s top offensive defenceman, being tasked with running the team’s No. 1 power-play unit (and even receiving PP minutes during some of his NHL stints with Vegas).
Three of Miromanov’s seven career NHL points have come on the power play. He received his longest run of playing time with Vegas during the 2022–23 season, collecting two goals and six points while averaging 17:02 of ice time in 14 games. But he’s been stuck behind a logjam of talented defenders in Vegas, most notably Alex Pietrangelo, Shea Theodore, and Zach Whitecloud.
Throughout his time in Henderson, Miromanov was a high-end driver of chances and goals despite playing for a Silver Knights team that consistently ranked near the bottom of the AHL’s Pacific Division. He’s an assertive defender with a cannon of a shot who uses his big frame to make high-skill and high-percentage plays with the puck. Last year, he represented Henderson at the AHL All-Star Game.
Miromanov missed the first half of the 2023–24 season while recovering from off-season ACL and meniscus surgery. He only returned to action on January 24, playing in his first of five games with Henderson on a conditioning stint before returning to Vegas’ NHL roster in early February.
Even before the Golden Knights acquired Hanifin from the Flames on Wednesday, Miromanov had been a healthy scratch for seven consecutive games. Vegas needed to shed a body to stay one player shy of the 50-contract limit; Miromanov just so happened to be the odd man out. Fortunately for him, the Flames have a spot open for the taking on the right side.
Miromanov will arrive in Calgary with a bit of job security. The Flames signed him to a two-year extension carrying a $1.25 million AAV before he played a single game in the organization. They value what he can bring. With Tanev and Hanifin both gone, expect Miromanov to get the first crack at playing top-four minutes down the stretch. After being sidelined for months, you can bet he’ll have a chip on his shoulder.
No, Miromanov doesn’t have much NHL experience — but, as a result, he very much remains an unknown quantity. He’s proven in the KHL and AHL that he can produce at an impressive rate for a big defenceman. While he almost assuredly won’t replicate the impacts Hanifin managed throughout his tenure with the Flames, Miromanov has a chance to provide legitimate value as a stopgap option for a rebuilding Flames team (and yes, they are rebuilding).
These Flames aren’t even close to being a finished product. They’re years and years away from getting to that point. But a player like Miromanov could make them a lot more fun to watch. With tougher times ahead as Craig Conroy executes his plan, ‘fun’ could end up being in short supply on a game-by-game basis. But for those Flames fans looking further down the road, the bigger picture is starting to become a bit clearer — and significantly more promising — in Calgary.
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