Capitals Prospects Hendrix Lapierre, Vincent Iorio And Garin Bjorklund Participate In Team Canada’s Summer Showcase

Photo: Candice Ward/Hockey Canada Images

Hockey Canada held a National Junior Team summer development camp, which took place from July 29-Aug. 3 at the Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary. Rather than sending players to the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Michigan or to the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Slovakia, Team Canada hosted their own showcase for nearly 100 of their best prospects for both the Under 20 category and the Under 18 category. Three Capitals prospects were invited to this showcase.

The three Capitals’ prospects participating in this summer’s development camp were: Center Hendrix Lapierre (2020 first round pick/22nd overall), Defenseman Vincent Iorio (2021 second round pick/55th overall), and Goaltender Garin Bjorklund (2020 sixth round pick/179th overall).

The camp for the players in the Under 20 category featured practices and intersquad games and overlapped with the Under 18 Team development camp.

Photo: Hockey Canada Site

July 31 and August 1 featured intersquad games between the Under 20 prospects, who were divided into the Red Team and the White Team. Garin Bjorklund played in goal for the Red Team. Vincent Iorio was also on the Red Team. Lapierre was on the White Team. Neither Lapierre nor Iorio had any  goals, assists, or penalties in either of the Under 20  games in the Showcase.

August 2 and 3 featured games between teams that were a mixture of Under 18’s and Under 20’s, The participating players were divided into four teams, which were named in honor of coaches: Team Williams (after Dennis Williams), Team Robitaille (after Louis Robitaille), Team Cameron (after Head Coach Dave Cameron), and Team Dyck (after Michael Dyke). For the Caps’ prospects, Garin Bjorklund was in goal for Team Robitaille; Vincent Iorio played for Team Cameron; while Lapierre played on Team Williams.

The showcase also featured three games between the Under 18 prospects that took place between July 28 and August 1.

On July 31, the Red Under 20 Team beat the White Under 20 Team by a 4-2 score. Bjorklund played the first period of the game and made eight saves out of eight chances. In the game, they had all three goalies from the Red Team each play a period and both goalies of the White Team each play half the game.

Hockey Canada: Game Summary 7/31/2021
Link to Video of Highlights
Photo Gallery For Game

Photo: Candice Ward/Hockey Canada Images

On August 2, the White Under 20 Team beat the Red Under 20 team by a 2-1 score in overtime. Bjorklund played the first period and made seven saves out of seven chances. In the game, similar to the game of two days earlier, all three goalies from the Red Team each played a period and both goalies of the White Team each played half the game.

Photo: Candice Ward/Hockey Canada Images

Hockey Canada: Game Summary 8/2/2021
Link to Video of Highlights
Photo Gallery for Game

On August 3, Bjorklund played the entire game for Team Robitaille as they beat Team Williams 7-2. He made 37 saves out of 39 chances. Hendrix Lapierre was on Team Williams.

Hockey Canada: Robitaille Game Summary 8/3/2021: Robitaille vs Williams
Link to Video of Highlights
Photo Gallery for Game

The game between Team Cameron, featuring Iorio, and Team Dyck also took place on August 3. Team Cameron won a wild 9-8 game in Overtime. Iorio scored the third goal for Team Cameron, scoring on a power play goal.

Photo: Candice Ward/Hockey Canada Images

Hockey Canada: Game Summary 8/3/2021: Cameron vs Dyke
Link to Video of Highlights
Photo Gallery: Cameron vs Dyke

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic spent six days at the showcase, which spanned 18 practices and seven games (three Under 18 games, two Under 20 games and a pair of games where the two groups were mixed and sorted into four teams). He compiled notes on all the prospects that participated. His notes on the Capitals’ prospects were as follows:

Goaltender Garin Bjorklund:

“I thought Bjorklund played well. He really battles to stay in plays and gets to a lot of second pucks.”

Right Handed Defenseman: Vincent Iorio:

“Iorio was more aggressive and confident on the attack than I expected while playing his usual polished game defensively. I don’t think he’ll make the team [World Junior] but they paired him with some good players (including Cormier, who is a lock) and he played well.”

Center: Hendrix Lapierre:

“I didn’t think Lapierre was quite as dominant as I hoped he’d be but his hands are just so quick and allowed him to dance players one-on-one and beat the first defender (or the goalie) all week. He also looks stronger in battles than a year ago and did a good job. His playmaking was strong as usual too and he consistently hit the second or third option in coverage with a leading pass.”

Wheeler also listed his roster projections for the IIHF Under 20 World Junior Championships, to take place in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta, from Dec. 26- Jan. 5, 2022. He listed Lapierre on the third line and considers Lapierre to be on the bubble for selection but is a much needed left shot passer.

By Diane Doyle

Further Reading
The Athletic: Scott Wheeler’s Write up on Team Canada Summer Showcase and World Junior Roster Projection
https://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/team-canada/men/junior/2021-22
Capitals Prospects Hendrix Lapierre, Garin Bjorklund Selected For Canada’s National Junior Team Summer Development Camp

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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