Vincent Iorio: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

We continue our Washington Capitals annual prospect review and forecast series with Vincent Iorio, defenseman for the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL). (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page in the top menu or right here.)


Iorio, 20, is a 6’-3”, right-handed defenseman from Coquitclam, British Columbia. He was a second round pick (#55 overall) of the Capitals in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. Iorio signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Capitals on October 4, 2021. The first two seasons were entry-level slide seasons for Iorio, which will make him a restricted free agent at the end of the 2025-26 season.


Prior to playing junior hockey, 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.

In the 2018-19 season, Iorio recorded just a single goal and four assists in 50 games during his rookie campaign for the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL. In 2019-20, Iorio scored four goals and 17 assists in 59 games, recording 21 points overall.

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. He finished the season with five goals and seven assists in just 22 games.

Iorio attended Capitals’ prospect camp in September of 2021 and participated in the Capitals 2021 main training camp. He also played in one preseason game against the Devils on September 29th before he was returned to the Brandon Wheat Kings on October 1 in time for the Wheat Kings season-opener.

Iorio was invited to Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp, which opened in Calgary, Alberta on December 9, but was cut from the team on December 12.

For the 2021-22 season, Iorio was named an assistant captain to start the season. He was a steady starter in his fourth season with the Wheat Kings, playing on the right side of the top defensive pairing. Offensively, Iorio recorded 11 goals and 33 assists for 44 points in 60 games played, which was a career high for points and 16th-best among all defensemen in the WHL. He added another goal and an assist in six postseason games.

The Capitals recalled Iorio to Hershey immediately following the conclusion of his WHL season on April 4, but did not see any game action.

The 2022-23 season was Iorio’s rookie campaign in the AHL. While there were significant struggles in the early part of the season, typical for any AHL rookie defenseman, Iorio picked things up rather quickly and ultimately secured a regular starting position on the Bears blueline. Iorio’s progress was very noticeable as the season unfolded, as he became more and more comfortable with the professional game. Offensively he finished the regular season with just two goals and 20 assists in 63 regular season games and added one goal and four assists in 20 postseason games. Iorio was called up to the Capitals in March and played in three games. He recorded his first NHL point assisting on an Alex Ovechkin goal.


The following is a compilation of our month-by-month prospect reports for Vincent Iorio during the 2022-2023 season. You can find all of our monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.


The rookie blueliner has gotten off to a bit of a slow start in his first professional season. Coming off of a strong offensive season with the Brandon Wheat Kings last season, Iorio was expected to bring offense to the Bears. He has not found his offensive game yet, registering a single assist in the month.

To be fair, Iorio does not see time on the power play as Bobby Nardella and Aaron Ness quarterback the power play units. The Coquitlam, British Columbia native’s skating is his biggest asset, and he has been pretty steady, defensively. He had a bad night in Harford, but that was the case for many Hershey players that night.

Monthly Score: 2.5


The rookie blueliner found his offensive game this month. Iorio had a single assist in October, but compiled six points in November. He matched his October point total with an assist in November’s opening game in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

The November 11 game with Bridgeport would bring a trio of firsts for Iorio. It started when he set up Kale Kessy’s second period goal for his first point of the night. In overtime, the Coquitlam, British Columbia native wired a shot past Jakub Skarek for the decisive tally in a 4-3 triumph. The goal was Iorio’s first professional goal. It was also his first game-winner and gave him his first multi-point game as a pro.

Iorio recorded his second multi-point game with a pair of assists against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on November 29. Iorio’s

Defensive responsibilities increased with injuries on the back end. For the most part, he has handled these responsibilities well. Occasionally, he gets caught flatfooted (on Lehigh Valley’s second goal on November 30) or is out of position. However, that is going to happen with a young defenseman. Iorio has been solid on the penalty kill and should continue to improve as the season goes along.

Monthly Score: 3.5


Iorio’s game continues to be a work in progress. There are times when he looks like a rookie and makes mistakes. Against Bridgeport on December 9, he got a little flat-footed and allowed Ruslan Ishakov to use his body to angle Iorio off the puck. Iorio still had the chance to make a move on the puck with his stick, but waited too long and Ishakov backhanded a low shot in to give Bridgeport a 1-0 lead.

There are also instances when the blueliner makes risky passes in front of his own net instead of taking the easier play out of the zone. Other times, Iorio looks like a seasoned veteran, putting himself in strong positions, defensively and making good plays on the puck.

The positive news is Iorio’s strong plays outnumber his mistakes and that is a good sign. If he cleans up the areas that still give him trouble, he is a potential top pair defenseman. Offensively, Iorio chipped in with three assists to bring his season point total to 10.

Monthly Score: 3.0


The rookie defenseman continues to improve his defensive game. Iorio’s decision-making has gotten better as the season has gone along and the positioning mistakes from earlier on the campaign have decreased.

Iorio has played well in a pairing with Bobby Nardella. Iorio’s defensive improvement allows Nardella to jump up into the play.

He has not been the offensive juggernaut that some thought he would be, at least in the first half of the season, but he has not been asked to be that guy. Iorio’s offensive game will come in time, but right now he is playing his role.

Iorio did score his second goal of the season in the third period of a 4-3 overtime loss to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 11 and added three assists in the month. Iorio has two goals and 12 assists on the season.

Monthly Score: 3.0


The rookie defenseman looks more and more confident as each month passes. Ioriocarries the puck up the ice with more ease than he did earlier in the season and looks more sure of himself in every part of his game. He possesses a good, low hard wrist shot that he does a good job of getting through the defense.

His shot sets up teammates for redirections. Two of Iorio’s three assists in the month came when his shots were tipped home by teammates. The Coquitlam, British Columbia native is tied for the team lead in assists by a defenseman with 15 and has 17 points on the season.

Iorio is playing a strong defensive game, 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.”

Monthly Score: 3.5


Iorio only played five games for Hershey in March due his first NHL callup and an injury. He played three games for the Washington Capitals in the early part of the month.

In his NHL debut on March 4, Iorio recorded his first NHL point by picking up the primary assist on Alex Ovechkin’s second third period tally against the Sharks in San Jose.

The Coquitlam, British Columbia native came back to the Bears on March 11 and had a secondary assist on Beck Malenstyn’s opening goal against Providence.

The rookie blueliner suffered an injury the next night and missed the next four games. He returned to play in two of the last three games of the month and dished out a secondary helper on Hendrix Lapierre’s opening goal in Toronto on March 29. Being in and out of the lineup prevented Iorio from getting into a groove in March.

Monthly Score: 3.0


Iorio continued his quality play in the postseason, and in the early going, led all defensemen in points, before he was sidelined with an injury which caused him to miss five games.

Offensively he finished with a goal and four assists in 15 postseason games. Defensively he was solid, but did give up scoring chances, as the Bears defense as a whole was vulnerable in a number of games. He finished at a plus one in the playoffs, which was fifth among Bears defensemen.

Monthly Score: 3.0



Iorio’s Season with regards to development was excellent. You probably couldn’t ask for more for a developing prospect, as he added 78 professional games to his resume. He made his share of errors, particularly in the early going, but his progression was very noticeable throughout the entire season.

By spring he was clearing the crease of men much older and with much more experience, and doing it with an attitude you like to see in a young defenseman. He was still getting caught flat-footed, taking poor angles on plays and making poor decisions, but even those types of errors were beginning to dissipate.

“I think he’s playing his best hockey right now,” Bears head coach Todd Nelson told Bears radio in February. “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.”

Offensively, Iorio is capable of much more, as he recorded just three goals and 24 assists in  78 games. To his defense, the 2021-22 season was a huge learning curve for Iorio, and defense was his primary focus. He has an excellent shot, is a very good skater and has good sense around the net, which should lead to more goals and assists in the future.

While fans may be eager to see Iorio make the jump to Washington, it’s best for his development that he get more time in the AHL next season. He will hopefully get a few more games with the Capitals, whether at the start of the season or somewhere else along the way.

By Jon Sorensen

Further Reading
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

2022-2023 Prospect Reviews And Forecasts

Joe Snively
Connor McMichael 
Hendrix Lapierre
Beck Malenstyn
Hunter Shepard
Ivan Miroshnichenko
Ryan Chesley
Joaquim Lemay
Mitchell Gibson
Chase Clark
Brent Johnson
David Gucciardi
Oskar Magnusson
Jake Karabela
Ludwig Persson
Clay Stevenson
Bear Hughes
Haakon Hanelt
Benton Maass
Martin Has
Henrik Rybinski
Bogdan Trineyev
Alexander Suzdalev
Ryan Hofer
Dru Krebs

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 Vincent Iorio: 2023 Annual Review And Forecast

  1. Prevent Defense says:

    Now that there is Intelligent Life on Planet Capitals Bench, Vin Iorio stands a decent chance of becoming a permanent competent player for the parent club. Ditto for the 8-10 really good Hershey Bears players who are NHL-ready

    • Anonymous says:

      I think next season would be rushing him (he’s only 20). One more season in AHL, but he is on track to be a good one.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Eee eye eee I-orio!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Was really beginning to appreciate Vins game in the second half of the season. Still a ways to go, but he’s quickly getting there.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Agree. I already have him ahead of Lucas Johansen as far as general development and depth on the blueline.

      • GRin430 says:

        Long-term, Iorio’s definitely ahead of Johansen. But for next year, Johansen should be the 7D, with Iorio getting big minutes in Hershey.

        The Caps have 3 NHL RD locked up for the next several years. It would be great if Iorio can push one of them out the door (any one of them would likely bring a decent return in a trade), but they don’t NEED that to happen next year, assuming no injuries. It’s also nice to know that even if they do have injuries, he can be brought up to fill in, instead of having to bring in an AHL lifer like McIlrath, who is basically just a pylon at the NHL level.

        Iorio and Chesley are the future on RD for the Caps. Both appear to be very good prospects to anchor a solid D for the late ’20s and maybe into the ’30s.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          I have trouble seeing Johansen as a full-time NHLer. Will be 27 shortly. Watched all 250+ of his AHL games. I know that goes against the fan grain, but I’ve said it for a few seasons now. I believe our other Bears analyst Eric Lord holds the same opinion.

          I think Hardy Hamen Aktell is also ahead of Johansen, but I would like to see more first hand.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Love Vinny’s game in the second half of the season.

  5. rathodstore says:

    Hockey is an amazing sport. It is a great way to stay active and have fun with friends. I love watching hockey and can’t wait for the next game!

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