The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Vinny Iorio and Gabriel Carlson from AHL Hershey. Dylan McIlrath has also been re-assigned to Hershey. The recall is likely related to the injuries sustained by Capitals defensemen Nick Jensen and Martin Fehervary during Wednesday night’s game against the Anaheim Ducks.
#Caps have recalled Vincent Iorio and Gabriel Carlsson from AHL Hershey.
Dylan McIlrath is being sent back down.
— Roman Stubbs (@romanstubbs) March 3, 2023
Iorio is currently playing a strong defensive game in Hershey, making good decisions and putting himself in good positions defensively. He is seeing more time on the penalty kill with Dylan McIlrath in the NHL.
“I think he’s playing his best hockey right now,” Bears head coach Todd Nelson told Bears radio. “He’s getting better every night. Every once in a while, he’s a human being, he might have a tough night one night. All in all, we’re happy with his body of work.”
Nelson added, “He’s improving as a hockey player. I just think he’s a defenseman that can do some things that other defensemen can’t. He can skate the puck out of pressure, he’s a big strong guy, he plays on the penalty kill. I just like his game right now, and hopefully he keeps on moving in the right direction.”
Iorio discussed his game and what he’s been working on in a recent interview with Bears radio.
“Just consistency. Breaking out pucks is one thing for me that I need to continue to work on. You can’t take a shift off. Little milliseconds, whether it be a stride or a missed pass, that can turn into pretty ugly stuff. For me and the rest of the young guys, just keeping it simple, keeping it consistent, and just going with the flow.”
Carlsson has been Hershey’s most reliable defenseman at this point in the season. He is a plus 11 in his last 14 games and leads the Bears with a plus 22 rating for the season. The Orebro, Sweden native is sound positionally and makes good decisions in his own zone. Carlsson is a strong penalty killer and can be relied upon to play against the other team’s top players.
If it is a big defensive spot, Carlsson is likely on the ice. Offensively, the Swedish blue liner only had a single assist in the month, a secondary helper on a Riley Sutter goal in Bridgeport on February 3. He has 13 points on the season.
FROM THE CAPITALS
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Washington Capitals have recalled defensemen Vincent Iorio and Gabriel Carlsson from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) and have loaned defenseman Dylan McIlrath to Hershey, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.
Iorio, 20, has recorded 17 points (2g, 15a) in 51 games with Hershey this season. Iorio was selected by the Capitals in the second round, 55th overall, in the 2021 NHL Draft. The 6’4″, 205-pound defenseman ranks first among Hershey defensemen in games played, tied for first in assists and second in points and plus/minus (+12). Among AHL rookie defensemen, Iorio ranks tied for third in plus/minus and ninth in assists.
The Coquitlam, British Columbia native recorded a career-high 44 points (11g, 33a) in 60 games with the Brandon Wheat Kings of the Western Hockey League (WHL) during the 2021-22 season, ranking second among Wheat Kings defensemen in goals, assists, points, power play-assists (10) and points per game (0.73). In 191 career WHL games with Brandon, Iorio recorded 82 points (21g, 61a).
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) March 3, 2023
Carlsson, 26, has recorded 13 points (1g, 12a) in 47 games with Hershey this season. The 6’5″, 207-pound defenseman has posted a team-high +22 plus/minus rating and ranks third among Bears defensemen in assists and points.
The Orebro, Sweden native recorded nine points (2g, 7a) in 38 games with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021-22, establishing single-season career highs in goals, assists, points and games played, while leading Blue Jackets defensemen in plus/minus (+6). Carlsson also appeared in two games with the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters last season, where he registered two assists.
Carlsson has recorded 16 points (3g, 13a) in 75 career NHL games with Columbus. In 193 career AHL games with Hershey and Cleveland, Carlsson has recorded 45 points (7g, 38a). Carlsson was selected by Columbus in the first round, 29th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft.
McIlrath, 30, has recorded one assist in six games with the Capitals this season. The 6’5″, 232-pound defenseman made his Capitals debut on Feb. 16 against the Florida Panthers and recorded his first point as a Capital on March 1 against the Anaheim Ducks.
The Hershey captain has recorded 10 assists in 44 games with the Bears this season and leads the team in penalty minutes (83). McIlrath’s 44 games played rank third among Hershey defensemen and his 10 assists rank tied for fourth.
The Winnipeg, Manitoba native has played 72 career NHL games with the Capitals, New York Rangers, Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings, recording six points (3g, 3a) and 128 penalty minutes. In 544 career AHL games with Hershey, Grand Rapids, Hartford, Springfield and Connecticut, McIlrath has recorded 110 points (27g, 83a) and 1,085 penalty minutes. McIlrath was selected by the Rangers in the first round, 10th overall, in the 2010 NHL Draft.