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Nashville Predators Top 25 Under 25: No. 6 Dante Fabbro

Nashville Predators 2016 first-round pick Dante Fabbro comes in at number six on our list but he could quickly move up with a good season at Boston University and a good World Junior Championships.

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

No. 6 Dante Fabbro (RD)

Birthday: June 20, 1998 (Age 18)

Height: 6’0"

Weight: 190 lbs.

NHL Draft: 2016 1st Round, 17th Overall

Penticton Vees (BCHL): 45 GP, 14 G, 53 A, 67 P, 30 PIM, +0

Canada U18 (WJC-18): 7 GP, 0 G, 8 A, 8 P, 16 PIM, +5

As I’ve sasid before, you should always bet on the smart players at the draft, and Fabbro was called one of the smartest defensemen available in the 2016 NHL Draft by ESPN draft guru Corey Pronman. Fabbro’s high end hockey IQ allows him to be effective in all areas of the ice and makes him as good of a bet to end up in the NHL as any draft pick outside the top five or so picks.

Defensively, Fabbro has great stick work and is always in the right position, due to his hard work and great smarts. Because he is so positionally sound, works so hard, and has great stick work, he can be a real thorn in the side of the opposition. Though he does show a great willingness to battle, the young British Columbia native still needs to improve his physical game.

Fabbro’s most noticeable strengths come when he’s moving the puck. With a the aforementioned high hockey IQ, a high stress threshold, and great passing, Fabbro keeps his head up and makes very high percentage and effective plays; the long lead pass is one of his specialties. If the pass isn’t there, he is more than capable of moving the puck up the ice with good, but not exceptional, skating.

In the offensive zone, Fabbro can quarterback your power play with that smart passing. As was made evident at the Predators’ development camp, he always has his head up and he knows where he’s going to put the puck before he gets it. Fabbro’s shot is good but not exceptional, and that will be something for him to work on in the future.

Committed to play at Boston University next season, the former Penticton Vee will gain a major role in all situations in his freshman year on a team that had four first-round draft picks in 2016. With that very good team, BU will be a fantastic team for him to develop with. He will likely play for team Canada in the World Junior Championships, along with fellow 2016 Predators pick Samuel Girard, and that will be an interesting showcase of his talents.

If Fabbro becomes a consistent NHL player, his hockey sense will allow him to play on any defensive pairing. How his all-around game—and most importantly, his offensive game—develops while at Boston University and beyond will determine how far up the lineup he will play. At his best, Fabbro could be an effective complementary top pairing defenseman with his skillset.

Projected NHL Arrival: 2018-2019

2015-2016 Grade: A-

NHL Projection: Complementary Top Pairing Defenseman

Great analysis by Craig Button on Fabbro below:

All stats via Elite