First, I should apologize to anyone taking this Mock Draft seriously. I, like most California hockey fans, know next to nothing about undrafted prospects, so the realism of this draft could have just gone out the window at number ten. If I were really channeling Bob Murray and Martin Madden, I probably would have gone with an offensively minded defenseman (See: Cam Fowler, Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Shea Theodore, Jake Gardiner and/or Justin Schultz). But, for whatever reason, I didn't have that in mind when making this pick and my complex system of googling turned up a young man from Mississauga. Let's learn a bit about him shall we?
Born: Jan. 22, 1996 in Mississauga, Ontario
Weight: 165-170 lbs
Fabbri was suspended 10 games for a headshot he put on Kitchener's Evan McEneny in November, and missed time later in the year on the receiving end of one, but still lit up the OHL with 87 points in 58 regular season games and 28 in 16 playoff games and named the OHL playoffs MVP, not too shabby. As I understand it, Guelph was pretty stacked this year and was upset in the final of the Memorial Cup, where Fabbri also put up some pretty nice numbers as you can see. But the Hockey News' Top 60 prospects issue suggests that with many of his teammates moving on to the pro ranks, he may put up even better numbers next year.
Central Scouting had Fabbri listed at number 21 among North American skaters, while the International Scouting service had him at 16 and the Hockey News listed him 20th. Our friends at Arctic Ice Hockey also did a list of the top 60 draft eligible prospects this season and put Fabbri at number 29. Here's what they had to say about him:
29. C Robby Fabbri (Guelph, OHL) - Fabbri is a late rising forward in part due to a really strong playoffs with the Memorial Cup bound Guelph Storm. He did have a great regular season as well though. Fabbri is a very fast and elusive player on the ice. He is one of the better skaters in the draft. He flys around the ice and thrives with the puck on his stick. He also has has a wicked wrist shot that he gets off very quickly. Despite his smaller size, Fabbri is willing to engage physically although he is often over-matched. At times Fabbri can be inconsistent and he struggles with defensive reads. His below average size and shooting tendencies tend to suggest he will project to the wing at the next level.
Birthdate: January 22, 1996. Height: 5'10''. Weight: 165lbs.
NHL Projection: Undersized, speedy 2nd line forward
Comparable: Nazem Kadri
Defending Big D also focused a full profile on him a few weeks ago:
In short he's an incredibly dynamic and impressive offensive minded forward who skate his way around the opposition with the puck on his stick. You can really see it on the highlights at the end of this article.
And here are said highlights:
Based on those highlights, which can be misleading, I'm a little surprised at how few of the scouting reports that I've read on him mention his stick handling ability. Dude can seriously dangle, but that doesn't necessarily translate to the higher levels. What does, is his speed, clearly on display above and in anything that you read about him, which is important in the NHL especially for a player of his stature.
A few more links for you:
Fabbri has put up a significant amount of points this year for Guelph under head coach Scott Walker. If he was two inches taller he would probably be one of the more looked-at players in the draft but as of right now he is flying under the radar. If he continues to fly under the radar he could be a very good steal for the team that picks him much like Jeff Skinner was in 2010 (one of Fabbri's inspirations), to a lesser degree.
Fabbri is known as a hard-working player and a very good skater, which ties into his quickness and ability to back up defenders and create chances. He’s proven that he can score from anywhere, and that’s a combination of his willingness to go into the hard areas to score along with a pro-caliber shot.
"He's a special player," said Columbus Blue Jackets first-round pick Kerby Rychel, who was Fabbri's left wing this season. "He's got the heart of a lion and some of the best skill I have ever seen.
"He's never nervous before a game, no matter how big a stage it is — OHL playoffs, OHL finals, Memorial Cup," Rychel added. "He's always ready to play and he's got a smile. It's definitely a good influence to have in the dressing room. Whether it's Game 30 or the Memorial Cup, he's the same way. That is a good quality to have."
Fabbri's stock has done nothing but rise all year, and while I honestly have no idea whether the Ducks like him, or would take him with one of their two first rounders this year, I know I'll be interested to see where he goes in just a few more days.