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2016 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Dante Fabbro is calm and poised with the puck

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Fabbro is a standout from the BCHL, and could be the perfect player to bolster Montreal's defensive prospect pool.

DAMON JAMES

There’s no denying the difficulty in projecting Dante Fabbro as an NHLer, despite his obvious upside. The smooth-skating defensemen was an integral part of the Penticton Vees’ RBC Cup Championship last season, as a 16-year-old. This season, Fabbro racked up so many points that he holds the all time single-season record for points-per-game by a BCHL defencemen with 1.49, 0.12 above second-place Duncan Keith.

Fabbro was surrounded by a tremendous supporting cast, featuring the Canadian Junior A Player of the Year Tyson Jost, and the BCHL’s top scorer, Scott Conway. Undoubtedly, Fabbro’s production was aided by his surroundings, but make no mistake, the Boston University commit is a high-end prospect.

Place of Birth: New Westminster, British Columbia

Shoots: Right

Position: Defence

Height: 6'0"    Weight: 190 lbs

Hockey sense is the engine that drives Fabbro. His ability to rapidly process the game and make the correct decision is tremendous. This was on full display during his fantastic performance at the U-18s, where he formed a formidable pairing with Jakob Chychrun. His defensive game is composed of intelligent positioning and an active stick.

Never pressured into poor decisions, always calm and poised; Dante Fabbro is arguably one of the best puck-movers in the draft class. His top notch vision and crisp passes make him a controlled zone exit machine. Although he's not blazing fast or flashy, he’s highly effective.

From the point, Fabbro demonstrates the same effectiveness with distribution and also owns a powerful shot. He doesn't just shoot to score, but also excels at shooting low, hard shots to generate rebounds.


Scouting

Future Considerations:

An all-round defensemen that plays with poise and confidence in all situations. An explosive skater with a smooth stride and strong edge work who positions himself well on both offense and defense. Has elite hockey hockey sense allows him to make quick, smart plays that helps transition the puck in any situation. He has a heavy shot as well as a solid frame and willing to use it to play a physical game. The kid has top pairing NHL potential.

Elite Prospects:

Dante Fabbro is a dependable two-way defenseman with high offensive upside. He plays with poise and makes mature, high-percentage decisions under pressure. In his own end, he is proactive with both his body and stick, and does everything right to interrupt passing lanes and win back possession. With the puck on his stick, he is mobile at an elite level and can direct plays like a quarterback. He possesses a hard and accurate release on his shot, that he gets off quickly and on-net. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that plays a refined game at both ends of the ice.

Rankings

Future Considerations: 21st

Hockey Prospect: 13th

ISS Hockey: 19th

Central Scouting Service, NA Skaters: 18th

ESPN: 10th

Draft Analysis: 18th

Craig Button: 12th

Draft Buzz Hockey: 15th

Bob McKenzie: 16th

Draft Analysis: 18th

Thoughts

There’s an inherent risk to selecting Fabbro simply because there has never been a defender selected in the first round from the BCHL. However, his closest statistical single-season points by under-18 defenders is a dandy:

NAME GP G A P P/GP
Dante Fabbro 45 14 53 67 1.49
Duncan Keith 60 18 64 82 1.37
Steve McCarthy 52 25 52 77 1.35
Joey LaLeggia 54 13 52 65 1.20
Jonathan Sigalet 52 13 39 52 1.00

He’s not the flashiest or most dynamic defender in the draft class, but his high-end decision-making and smooth game make him a solid candidate to fill a top-four, if not greater, role in the NHL.

Fabbro would make a great addition to a Canadiens prospect pool that is largely devoid of quality defencemen. Although he is would be another right-shooting defencemen in an already deep depth chart. However, there's a case to be made for Fabbro as one of the draft's top defenders. It appears he will most likely be available at ninth overall, and he should certainly be considered there.

There's also the possibility of moving down in the draft, acquiring additional picks, and still drafting a quality player like Fabbro.