On the second day of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Washington Capitals selected defenseman Vincent Iorio in the second round (55th overall) of the NHL Entry Draft. Iorio, born on November 14, 2002 in Coquitlam, British Columbia, played his last three seasons with the Brandon Wheat Kings in the Western Hockey League (WHL).
This past season, Iorio (pronounced EYE-Oreo) scored five goals and recorded seven assists for 12 points overall in just 22 games for the Wheat Kings. Additionally, he played heavy minutes on their second defensive pairing.
In 2019-20, Iorio scored four goals and 17 assists in 59 games, recording 21 points overall. During his first year with the team, he had a goal and four assists. There was a good chance he would have exceeded his career-high in overall points in 2020-21, but the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo: Via Brandon Wheat Kings Twitter
Prior to playing Junior Hockey with the Wheat Kings, Iorio played two seasons with the Shattuck St. Mary’s AAA team. When he first started playing hockey, he was a forward but eventually switched to defenseman.
Iorio has yet to compete at the international level. His most notable tournament was being a member of the British Columbian team in the WHL Cup, where he had five assists in eight games.
The Elite Prospects site describes him with these words, saying “Iorio on the breakout is basically Han Solo with a blaster: Well-placed laser-beam after well-placed laser-beam. He misdirects opponents by looking relaxed, even vulnerable, before firing. He looks off his target, skates into the lane, then holds the deception until the puck’s released, even for long-range, three-line passes.”
Dobber Hockey’s summary report of him back in February described him, “An effective and intelligent two-way defender who should see his stock rise when the WHL gets going. His patience and poise make him a very good prospect in the modern game”.
Eugene Helfrick of The Hockey Writers noticed the offensive improvement. Generally, he has been perceived to be a sound defenseman. The questions surrounding Iorio’s game were about his offensive skills. Helfrick goes on to say, “He plays the game right, and is able to use his size and high hockey-IQ to be in the right spot at the right time on the ice. By expanding his offensive capabilities, Iorio is looking more and more like a complete all-around prospect. He has the build of a starting NHL’er, the defensive tendencies to keep himself out of trouble, and is now flashing offensive upside that could be developed over the next few years. If he continues to play well despite the limited schedule, he could quickly find himself rising up the draft boards.”
Last Word on Hockey has the following report on how he projects, “Iorio is not the flashiest player out there but plays a steady two-way game. He skates well for his size. He also has a high-end hockey IQ and is willing to play physically. A little older than most other players in this draft, he only needs one more year in the WHL before he will be AHL eligible for the 2022-23 season. This could help him to be NHL-ready in two to three years. He doesn’t project as a big point-scorer or power play player but could develop into a top-four defender who compliments a high-end partner and plays big minutes. Iorio’s game is reminiscent of Brent Seabrook, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.”
Highlight Reel from WHL Site.
Highlight reel of his goals from 2020-21 season
Iorio conducted an interview with the media after being selected. He said, “I’m still in shock. It’s a blessing to be part of a great organization like this one… the real work starts now.” He also talked about his friendship with current Capitals defenseman Brendan Dillon, which started when they were doing summer training together. He considers Dillon a “down to earth” guy and a great role model.
“I’m very eager to learn and to go into camp. Just to soak in everything like a sponge – take everything in and all the information in … I’m really looking forward to that.”@viorio14 speaks with the media after being drafted in the second round.#CapsDraft | @Ticketmaster pic.twitter.com/ySkTmp62gO
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 24, 2021
The Brandon Wheat Kings were the same Junior Hockey team from which the Capitals first-round pick from 2003, Eric Fehr, played. Former Capitals Head Coach, Glen Hanlon also had played with them.
By Diane Doyle
Capitals Select Defenseman Vincent Iorio In The Second Round Of The 2021 NHL Entry Draft
Elite Prospects Profile of Vincent Iorio
Dobber Hockey Prospects Profile on Vincent Iorio
Last Word On Hockey:Scouting Report on Vincent Iorio
Brandon Wheat Kings: Vincent Iorio Season Statistics
Brandon Sun: Wheat Kings Double Down on D