2020-21 Team: Brandon Wheat Kings / WHL
Date of Birth: Nov 14, 2002
Place of Birth: Coquitlam, BC, CAN
Ht: 6-foot-3 Wt: 194 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 71st (amongst NA skaters)
- FC Hockey: 56th
- Dobber Prospects: 32nd
- Smaht Scouting: 56th
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 49th
- The Hockey Writers (Zator): 58th
- The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 43rd
For Vincent Iorio, the 2021 NHL Draft is all about timing. In 2019-20, his second full season in the WHL, he started 59 games for the Brandon Wheat Kings and was showing significant signs of growth in the offensive zone. In those 59 games, he scored four goals and 21 points, more than four times his totals in the 2018-19 season when he only posted one goal and five points in 50 games.
Now, throughout 2020-21, he is continuing this offensive improvement, posting five goals and 13 points in just 22 games. At this rate, he would easily top his career highs when projected out through a normal WHL season.
This matters because the questions surrounding Iorio heading into his draft year weren’t about his skills in the defensive zone, as he is seen as an all-around sound defenseman. 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.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Vincent Iorio – NHL Draft Projection
When it comes down to draft day, one trait reigns supreme when there is uncertainty about players… size. Larger players with high-upside tend to be favored over their smaller counterparts, as they are often seen as having a better chance of developing into an NHL player.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Due to this, I would expect a player like Iorio to see his stock continue to trend upwards as we get closer to draft day. While he may be seen as a mid-second round pick right now, he could easily move his way into the late first to the early second round if he continues to play well for the Wheat Kings. He has a high ceiling as well, which can draw more attention from teams who want to develop his game.
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.Tony Ferrari – dobberprospects.com
…Even last year he got rave reviews for his play in all three zones. He could contribute offensively as a 16/17 year old, he was good at shutting down transition attempts through the neutral zone, and he could break up cycles in the defensive zone using his size and being physical. He may be a very good all-round defenseman.There is no brigstew, only Z – pensionplanpuppets.com
- Smart player with a high hockey IQ
- Great both in the offensive and defensive zone
- NHL caliber toolkit and size to build upon.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
Unlike many of his counterparts, Iorio lacks experience playing against international opponents. So, while he is seeing steady development against his counterparts in the WHL, there will be questions about how this would translate against top opponents around the world.
With size and smarts, Iorio has the toolkit to become a starting NHL defenseman. These sorts of players take time to develop, of course, but in three to five years, he could be taking on 18 minutes of ice-time each night while chipping in of both ends of the ice.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4/5
When it comes to evaluating risk, where a player is selected does matter. If a team uses a first-round pick on Iorio, for example, this may put an undue amount of expectation on him, making his development process feel longer than it really is. If he slips to the third-round, though, he could be an absolute steal of the draft, especially with his high-upside and potential to become a top-four defenseman.
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.