2016 NHL Draft: Dante Fabbro, the Smartest D-man in the Draft?

Many have projected the Predators taking BCHL defenseman Dante Fabbro. So, let's take a look at what the Preds would be getting out of the right-shot two-way defenseman.

  • Position: Defense
  • Shoots: Right
  • Height: 6'0.5" (via NHL Combine)
  • Weight: 192 lbs (via NHL Combine)
  • Team: Penticton Vees (BCHL)
  • Hometown: New Westminster, BC, Canada
  • Birth Year: June 20, 1998/

Dante Fabbro is Good in All Areas.

Dante Fabbro opened up eyes this season. In order to remain eligible for NCAA play at Boston University, Fabbro remained in the BCHL with the Penticton Vees for one more season along with fellow future 2016 first round pick, center Tyson Jost. While playing in a lesser league than the WHL might be questioned by some as a developmental move, Fabbro made the most of it and the decision does not seem to have made a huge difference either way. Fabbro was named the BCHL defenseman of the year and then turned around and was named one of Canada's top three players in the U-18 Ivan Hlinka Tournament.

Corey Pronman has referred to Dante Fabbro as the smartest defenseman in the draft and it shows. He is very poised and makes quick decisions with and without the puck and those decisions are almost always the right ones. He uses that smarts and vision to complement sleek puck moving skills which, as he is a good skater with excellent passing abilities.

Fabbro is polished on both ends of the ice. He works hard defensively and gets into the right spots and breaks up plays. Offensively, he often acts as a powerplay quarterback with his smart puck-moving and heavy and accurate slapshot.

His game only needs further polishing and he could afford to be a bit more physical. He should be in the perfect spot to do so at the powerhouse that is Boston University.

The Defenseman Nashville Needs.

Fabbro is shaping up to be a fantastic complementary defenseman in the NHL and that is not a jab by any means. Every puck moving defenseman needs a smart, defensive, two-way defenseman along their side to be the most effective. Duncan Keith needs Brent Seabrook and Roman Josi needs Shea Weber. If all goes well, Fabbro could be the eventual replacement to Weber alongside Josi and he would not complain about that at all.
Fabbro has multiple connections in Nashville. He played for the Penticton Vees which is also the same team Ryan Johansen played for before he made the move to Portland and was eventually drafted first overall. His sisters goes to school just outside of Nashville, which coincidentally is his favorite team in the NHL. Furthermore, Fabbro tries to model his game after Weber (the previous two facts are from Yahoo Sports.)
Fabbro would be the perfect understudy to Weber, the player he would hopefully eventually replace, and that is why David Poile and the Nashville Predators should jump at the opportunity to draft him this Friday.

Quotes and Tweets:

Fabbro likes to play an up-tempo game, breaking out of his zone with either short bursts of speed or a hard, accurate head man. He can identify and exploit gaps, including ones with a closing window of opportunity. He has above-average balance and the type of coast-to-coast ability to thwart tight-checking schemes. Crossing the red line is rarely an adventure, as he will either slow down the pace or take the puck wide and into the opposing zone. He has very good hands and can handle a tough pass during the back-and-forth nature of a power play. Fabbro possesses a very good shot and an early-season issue with accuracy seems to have been rectified.

On defense, he's positionally sound in coverage and combines excellent gap control with an active stick. He runs into problems, however, during puck retrieval as he's shown an aversion to physical contact. Far from soft, Fabbro needs to learn to take a beating to complete a play rather than continue to rely on smarts and stick skills. - Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst