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Drafted 8th overall by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the WHL Bantam Draft, Dante Fabbro has foregone the WHL route in order to play NCAA hockey, and is committed to go to Boston University next season. In the meantime though, he’s played in the BCHL for the Penticton Vees. Fabbro was a member of the BCHL All-Rookie Team and part of the Vees BCHL Champion squad in 2014-15. This year he was part of a team that was historically good in the regular season, but was upset in the second round of the BCHL playoffs. With 14 goals and 67 points in 45 games, he led the league in scoring by a defenceman and was named the top defender in the BCHL. He also has plenty of international experience including last year’s Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, and at the summer’s Ivan Hlinka tournament where he helped Canada to a Gold Medal. In December Fabbro played at the World Junior A Hockey Championship where he led Canada West to Gold. Fabbro is part of this spring’s Canadian entry at the IIHF U18 World Championships, as he looks to add more hardward to his trophy case prior to the NHL Draft.
Dante Fabbro Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #17
Defense – Shoots Right
Born Jun 20 1998 — Whistler, BC
Height 6’01” — Weight 185 lbs [185 cm/84 kg]
The strength of Dante Fabbro’s game comes from his silky smooth skating stride. He has a great agility, and an excellent first step, allowing him to pounce on loose pucks quickly. Fabbro has good speed and acceleration in both directions, and covers a ton of ground in just a few seconds. He has good edgework and pivots, allowing him to transition quickly from offense to defense, and vice-versa. His lower body strength could be improved which would make him stronger on the puck and improve his balance. As Fabbro is young, there is certainly plenty of time to add that muscle to his frame.
Dante Fabbro is a two-way defender who does everything well. He moves the puck effectively, with a crisp first pass and good puckhandling ability. He can start the transition game with a smart pass, or he can avoid oncoming forecheckers and start the play by skating out of his own end of the rink. He is willing to lead the rush, or jump in to provide offensive support as a trailer. Fabbro is poised with the puck on his stick and quarterbacks things from the point on the powerplay. With his good vision and high hockey IQ, he can play the role of lay maker from the back end. Fabbro also has a hard and accurate slapshot, and has an excellent release on his wrist and snap shots, allowing him to be a goal scoring threat at the point or on the rush. He understands when to pinch in to keep a play alive and when to avoid taking unneccessary risks.
Defensivley Fabbro’s strong skating also allows him good gap control. He takes away the middle of the ice and forces attackers to try to beat him to the outside. While not a big hitter, he is able to take out opponents who try to beat him wide, playing the body and being physical. He also is not afraid to battle in front of the net or in the corners. Fabbro effectively cuts down passing and shooting lanes, and is not afraid to put his body on the line to block shots. His game shows maturity with great positioning in his own end.
Dante Fabbro has the potential to be a top two defender in the NHL and playing in all situations. As he hasn’t faced the best of competition, he will needs some time in the NCAA to get used to a faster paced game. He also will need to work on bulking up and improving his strength. Fabbro’s game is similar in style to Oliver Ekman-Larsson, though this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on his skills or potential.
Below is a compilation of highlights of Fabbro taken from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #18 prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo by Garrett James/Getty Images Sport