Drawing comparisons to Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie, right handed shooting defenseman Dante Fabbro has demonstrated enough to earn him a trip to Boston University in the fall, despite not playing at the highest level of Canadian Junior hockey to this point in his young career. Coming in at 18th on both the midterm and final Central Scouting rankings, Fabbro similarly comes in at #19 in the ISS rankings. At 6'0" and 190 pounds, he has some OK size, and his offensive instincts are as good as any defenseman in this draft. He also has tremendous decision-making skills and thinks the game at a very high level. To go with all of this, he skates well. He won't lay any big hits, but with his skating, thinking, and stick work, he may not have to. The biggest knock on him is that he seems to show an aversion to contact in puck retrieval, which is something he'll obviously have to work on to play in the NHL.
After an absurd 67 points (53 assists) in 45 games in the BCHL, he'll be taking a big step forward in competition moving to BU. Obviously, there he will receive great coaching and a much-improved strength and conditioning program, but it remains to be seen how well his game will translate. He certainly has the offensive tools to make an impact one day in the NHL as a second or third pairing guy who sees a ton of Power Play time. He stayed in the BCHL to preserve his NCAA eligibility, which will probably serve him well longer term. Still, it would have been nice to see him jump to the WHL when Seattle tried to grab him.
Current Team: Penticton Vees (BCHL)
Date of Birth: June 20, 1998
Place of Birth: New Westminster, British Columbia
Weight: 190 lbs
Dante Fabbro is a dependable two-way defenseman with high offensive upside. He plays with poise and makes mature, high-percentage decisions under pressure. In his own end, he is proactive with both his body and stick, and does everything right to interrupt passing lanes and win back possession. With the puck on his stick, he is mobile at an elite level and can direct plays like a quarterback. He possesses a hard and accurate release on his shot, that he gets off quickly and on-net. All-in-all, a complete defenseman that plays a refined game at both ends of the ice.--Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
Quick-thinking puck mover who thinks the game at a level far superior than the majority of his peers. Fabbro bypassed the CHL route to maintain his NCAA eligibility, and his BCHL competition paid a heavy price for his decision to stay with Penticton, leading all defensemen in scoring. He served as the Vees’ go-to guy in critical situations and provided his coaching staff with dependability while acting as their conduit between the bench and the ice.
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.--Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
Dante Fabbro (#12) will never pull you out of your seat, but when you measure high-end efficiency in the game, he stands out. The Penticton Vees defender always makes the right play, is always in the right position and doesn’t break down under the challenges, which makes it very difficult to play versus him. I see so many similarities to Brent Seabrook of the Chicago Blackhawks. Like Seabrook, Fabbro’s contributions lead to winning.--Craig Button, TSN
A Good Fit in Columbus?
Who would turn down a slick-skating, right-handed defenseman who makes great decisions and can chip in big-time offensively? I wouldn't. Fabbro can develop into a positionally sound defenseman who makes great decisions with the puck, can play on the Power Play, and would render a David Savard moot. He just won't be there when the Jackets pick, unless Columbus trades back up or Fabbro slips down the board for some reason.
Fabbro in Action