Capitals Recall Defensemen Vinny Iorio And Gabriel Carlsson From Hershey, Re-assign Dylan McIlrath To Bears

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.

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.


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).

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.


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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9 Responses to Capitals Recall Defensemen Vinny Iorio And Gabriel Carlsson From Hershey, Re-assign Dylan McIlrath To Bears

  1. Anonymous says:

    I was hoping Carlsson would get a chance. He’s been solid for the Bears
    And maybe some Carlson\Carlsson pairing

    • Anonymous says:

      Same here! He’s the best defenseman on the Bears right now

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        Agree with this assessment of Carlsson, he’s been at the top for most of the season. He was overdue for a callup.

        • KimRB says:

          His offense is almost non-existent though. He’s more of a Joe Reekie type of throwback, and not the prototypical, two way D, that coaches want. That is what makes me doubt whether he’ll have an NHL future.

          • Anonymous says:

            Fair point on the offense but the Caps could use a shutdown defender to help with some of the defensive breakdowns and odd man rushes (more of a Kempny type than a Reekie would be ideal)

    • KimRB says:

      If the Caps move up in the draft, they could draft Leo Carlsson

      I’m not sure how good they’d be, but they’d lead the league in Carlssons. Who’s next? Arthur “Big Guy” Carlson?

    • you just want to trip Joe B. up, don’t you

  2. Anonymous says:

    Go Vinny go!

  3. hockeydruid says:

    Like bringing the young guys up and hope that they both get playing time. And they would make a nice pair on the ice as one is a RD and the other a LD. As of now it looks like the D will be 3 rookies and one new player. As much as I like Nick and Fehervary and don’t want to see them hurt; guys take your time coming back so the young guys and the new guy get lots of playing time In prep for next season.

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