We kick off our 2014 NHL Draft coverage today with our first prospect profile; over the next month Defending Big D will be dedicated to covering every aspect of the draft and the Dallas Stars needs and goals heading into the summer.
Today's profile focuses on the small, speedy forward from the Guelph Storm: Robby Fabbri.
Fabbri is one of the best skaters in this draft. He's extremely fast and moves easily across the ice with great mobility. Even at his high top speed he can still control the puck and deke around defenders. He has top end vision and has top end offensive talent.
He was central to the Guelph Storm's run to the Memorial Cup Final and he centered their dominant top line. Despite his high goal total this season he is seen as a player that will nearly always look to make the pass instead of shooting himself. Considering his line mate is Columbus Blue Jacket's sniper prospect Kerby Rychel this isn't completely out of the ordinary.
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.
So whats the downer on him? His size is listed at 5'10", 170lbs. He's not a big forward and even highly offensively talented but small players drop. Just look at Nicholas Petan last year.
Why shouldn't Dallas Stars be worried about this if he is selected with the 14th pick? Its nearly constantly noted that Fabbri will fight to get the puck in the boards and he never gives up, sometimes to the point where he becomes undisciplined.
He's a highly talented centre who is a proven goal scorer in the juniors. Does size mean that he'll never make it in the pros? Quite possibly but the way he plays, the resilience he shows and his supreme offensive instincts make him a player that would improve the Dallas Star's prospect pool and maybe even the Dallas Stars in a few years time.
Here are some scouting reports from across the web:
Robby Fabbri is the classic non-stop worker. He never seems to stop moving his feet and is always right in the middle of the play. Don't let his lack of size fool you, Fabbri is an aggressive and physical player, who just loves to hit on the forecheck. He's an absolute buzz-saw constantly pressuring defencemen and causing a ton of turnovers.
A fearless skater, Fabbri's work ethic with and without the puck shines game in and game out. His speed is crucial on the defensive side of the puck, too. Even if he's out of position, it doesn't take him long to skate back and break up an attack. Although he and his team came away from the Memorial Cup empty handed, rest assured Robby Fabbri is still a terrific player.