A big part of drafting in the NHL is not only nailing your first-round selection, but supplementing it with a number of smart picks following it. With a handful of second-round picks, the Montreal Canadiens have the chance to bolster an already deep prospect pool.
One such name that should be appealing to them is Brock Faber, a US National Team Development Program player. A highly mobile defenceman with great awareness, he shows many of the hallmarks of a future NHL regular.
Date of Birth: August 22, 2002
Weight: 194 lbs.
Faber is a reliable, highly talented defender who fits the mould of what a modern “defensive” defenceman should look like. Playing as part of one of the deepest development programs in the world, he found a way to make himself stand out, even among an extremely talented group.
People may be quick to dismiss his lack of offensive production, but that comes with a major risk of missing out on a talented blue-liner with upside for the future. As the draft slowly draws closer, Faber could easily rise up many draft boards as teams look to find their next big defence prospect.
When looking at Faber’s all-around game, the biggest piece that sticks out is his fantastic skating. Not only does he possess a great stride and speed, but excellent lateral movement and agility. This allows him to create space and separation when carrying the puck, often when he activates as an option in an odd-man rush. With that agility and great lateral skating, his defensive game is top-notch as he can adjust to attacking opponents in his own end.
While that puck-handling could be responsible for him getting caught out of position, that is not something that happens to the young defender very often. He reads plays very well, closing off gaps and utilizing his stick without taking penalties as he defends. When he has collected the puck off his opponents, he’s a more-than-proficient puck-handler to get the puck away from his zone, even shielding off forecheckers with regular efficiency.
Faber combines all of these attributes to make the right reads and plays with ease. It isn’t always flashy, but it gets the job done, at least at his current level.
While Faber has many skills that should translate into making him a top-end offensive producer, he isn’t quite there yet. His shot isn’t where it needs to be to generate points from the back end, and overall his production lacks, in spite of his aggressive play with the puck. Some of that comes from a small lack of technical skill. While he has talent, he’s missing some of the higher-end talent that teammate Jake Sanderson has.
Faber is good at carrying the puck, but cannot carry it through multiple zones like Sanderson is able to do, and lacks a bit of finesse in his passing game. There are times his stretch passes end up in his teammates’ skates as opposed to on their sticks. He also has a tendency to hold on to the puck a bit too long, only to make a lateral D-to-D pass instead of advancing the play.
Elite Prospects: #41
Future Considerations: N/R
Hockey Prospect: #64
NHL Central Scouting(NA Skaters): #44
Faber is an intriguing prospect in this upcoming draft. He doesn’t possess a clear “home-run” skill, so to speak. His skating is quite good, but it takes more than that to become an NHL player in this day and age, especially if the offensive production isn’t there.
Yet he looks to be one of the rising stars in the 2020 Draft class despite his shortcomings on one side of the puck. That’s because his defensive game is as steady as it comes in this class. He is always going to be a reliable option for teams to utilize for defensive-zone shifts, and while it might not be flashy, it gets the job done game in and game out; a hugely appealing factor for many teams.
There’s a wide swath of rankings for Faber from early in round two, all the way down into round four, which makes it hard to nail down where he could end up going. The Canadiens have eight picks between those rounds, so they could easily step up to the virtual podium and grab him when he comes up on their list. His ceiling doesn’t appear to be overly high, but his floor is that of a reliable everyday NHL defender, something Montreal would love to have available to them.