2007-08: Dmitri Orlov made his Russian Super League debut for perennially-overmatched Metallurg Novokuznetsk while having a dominant season for Kuznetsk's U-18 team. Orlov appeared in six games with no points or PIM for Novokuznetsk, which finished with the 17th-best record in the 20-team league. He represented Russia at the WJC U-18 tournament and had 1 assist and was +3 in six games as the host team advanced to the championship game before losing to Canada, 8-0.
2008-09: Orlov split the season between Novokuznetsk Metallurg in the KHL and the Kuznetsk junior team. He scored 1 goal and had 4 PIM in 16 games and was +1 for a Novokuzetsk team that had the fourth-worst record in the 24-team KHL. In the junior league playoffs, Orlov scored 7 goals with 7 assists and was +7 with 2 PIM in six games for Kuznetsk. He represented Russia at the Ivan Hlinka tournament and had 1 goal with 6 PIM and was +3 in four games. Playing for Team Russia at the WJC U-18 tournament, Orlov led all Russian defensemen with 18 shots on goal and finished with 2 goals and two assists and was +7 with 6 PIM in seven games. Russia won a silver medal at the tournament – losing to the United States in the championship game. Orlov was ranked ninth among European skaters in the 2009 NHL Draft by Central Scouting.
2009-10: Orlov appeared in a career-high 41 games for last-place Novokuznetsk Metallurg in the KHL while starring for Kuznetsk's junior team. Orlov scored 4 goals with 3 assists and was -8 with 49 PIM as Novokuznetsk won just 16 games. Both Kuznetsk and Orlov had much more success at the junior level. During the regular season, Orlov scored 9 goals with 10 assists and was +5 with 26 PIM in 17 game for the Kuznetsk Bears. In the playoffs, he scored 7 goals with 6 assists and was +3 as Kuznetsk captured the initial Kharlamov Cup.
2010-11: Orlov made his North American pro debut with AHL Hershey in late February after skating in 45 games for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the KHL. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Washington in March 2011. In 19 regular season with the Bears he scored 2 goals with 7 assists and was -5 with 12 PMs. Orlov skated in all six Hershey playoff games and was +6 with 1 assist and 4 PMs. During the KHL season he was -18 on a Metallurg team that won just 12 games and had the KHL's worst record. Offensively he had 2 goals with 11 assists and had 43 PMs. Orlov skated for the gold medal-winning Russian team at the 2011 U20 World Junior Championship and had a tournament-best +10 plus/minus with 1 goal and 8 assists.
2011-12: Orlov played in 60 games for Washington in his first NHL season. He made his debut with the Capitals on November 21st in a game against Phoenix and was with the team the rest of the year. He scored 3 goals with 16 assists and was plus-one with 18 penalty minutes; averaging just under 17 minutes of ice time per game. Orlov was a healthy scratch in all 14 playoff games for the Capitals. In 19 AHL games with Hershey he scored 2 goals with 7 assists and was minus-five with 12 penalty minutes.
Orlov is a talented, smooth skating offensive defenseman who prefers to press the attack and create scoring opportunities at all times. His freelancing at times creates openings for the opposition, but Orlov is a constant threat. He is a decent sized player with a strong core but does not play an overly physical game. His strong suit is his creativity and high skill level which allows him to execute the complex plays he conceives. His shooting is accurate if not powerful and he is also adept at finding teammates with quick passes.
Orlov appears to be a fixture on the Capitals' blueline at this point, and has now graduated from prospect status.