Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2014 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Sports is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! For a Complete Listing of all our 2014 Draft Articles Click here.
Drafted 6th overall in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection Draft, Robby Fabbri has built on a strong rookie campaign, and been absolutely electric for the Guelph Storm this season. He put up 45 goals and 87 points in 58 games during the regular season, helping Guelph to the Hamilton Spectator Cup, as the OHL’s top team in the regular season. If not for a 10 game suspension he might have had a chance to put up 100 points this year. He was injured in the first game of Guelph’s playoff run, but wasn’t out for long and has come back strong with 9 goals and 18 points in 11 playoff games has helped lead the Storm past the London Knights and Erie Otters as they have taken the Western Conference title. Fabbri and the Storm will now try to win the OHL Championship in a series that will pit them against the North Bay Battalion, in a series where the Storm are heavily favored to advance to the Memorial Cup in London.
Winning is nothing new though for Fabbri. He played for Canada this summer at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament, and helped the team to a gold medal. He was also a member of the Mississauga Rebels who won the OHL Cup Midget tournament in 2012.
Center — shoots Right
Born Jan 22 1996 — Mississauga, ONT
Height 5.10 — Weight 160 [178 cm/73 kg]
Robby Fabbri is the classic non-stop worker. He never seems to stop moving his feet and is always right in the middle of the play. Don’t let his lack of size fool you, Fabbri is an aggressive and physical player, who just loves to hit on the forecheck. He’s an absolute buzz-saw constantly pressuring defencemen and causing a ton of turnovers. On some occassions he can even be a little bit over aggressive, such as when he earned a ten-game suspension this year for checking to the head. Fabbri is also not afraid to go to the net and battle with bigger and stronger defencemen for possession. When he gets the puck, Fabbri has very good hands, and outstanding vision and passing ability. He can be a real playmaker either off the rush, or in the cycle game where he protects the puck by keeping his feet moving at all times. He isn’t just a one dimensional playmaker though, Fabbri can also score with soft hands in tight, and a good snap shot and quick release from further out. Obviously Fabbri needs to add muscle to his frame going forward and will need to bulk up to play this style at higher levels, but this shouldn’t be too difficult.
Fabbri’s skating is very good, with strong top end speed, but it is his quickness that is really off the charts. Has a great first few steps and outstanding acceleration. This helps him to be first on that forecheck, as well as to chase down loose pucks all over the ice. He always has his feet moving and never glides out there, and that work ethic and compete level is key to his game. Fabbri is also good on his edges, with good agility and can make very sharp cuts to avoid defenders. He has decent balance, especially for his size, as he skates with a low centre of gravity.
The gritty, buzz-saw, non-stop mentality also applies to Fabbri’s defensive game. He never takes a shift off out there, applying very good back pressure and supporting his defencemen. His energy is contagious and makes him a natural on-ice leader.
Fabbri’s game reminds me of Theoren Fleury. This isn’t a talent comparison, but just a style one, and how despite his stature (yes he’s taller than Fleury, but still short for today’s standards), he’s never afraid to throw a hit, or to go to the net hard to make a play. Fabbri can do it all offensively and defensively and if he reaches his potential he could be a very effective second-line centre, and a super pest who can play against other team’s top players and get them off their game.
Below you can check out some highlights of Robby Fabbri in action.
Check back tomorrow for my number 28 ranked prospect.
For the latest sports injury news, check out our friends at Sports Injury Alert.
Thank you for reading. Please take a moment to follow me on Twitter – @lastwordBkerr. Support LWOS by following us on Twitter – @LastWordOnSport – and “liking” our Facebook page.
Interested in writing for LWOS? We are looking for enthusiastic, talented writers to join our Hockey writing team. Visit our “Write for Us” page for very easy details in how you can get started today!