Vancouver Canucks 2016 NHL Draft Profile: D Dante Fabbro

Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 26, 2015; Sunrise, FL, USA; A general view of the podium on stage before the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports /

The Vancouver Canucks are preparing for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft — and so are we.

Unfortunately, the 2015-16 season was cut short for the Vancouver Canucks, which means we have a long offseason ahead of us. Canucks GM Jim Benning and his staff will use the time to prepare next season’s roster, and the 2016 NHL Entry Draft will certainly play an important part in that process.

Vancouver started off strong in the fall of 2015 but ended the season with a thud. Thanks to their abysmal 28th rank in the league standings, the Canucks own seven picks early in each round. Benning did a great job in his first two years at the job and another successful draft could certainly help boost the rebuild.

Here at The Canuck Way, we will do our best to prepare you for the upcoming event by profiling as many draft-eligible players as we possibly can. Keep in mind that we are not saying these are players the Canucks are targeting. Instead, these are players that we think the Canucks could or should have interest in.

Here is a look at this year’s top Vancouver-native defenseman, Dante Fabbro!

Name: Dante Fabbro

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Height, weight: 6’0″, 190 lbs

Team/League: Penticton Vees, BCHL

Stats (from







NHL CSS Ranking: 18th Overall (North American Skaters)

Risk, Reward: 2.5/5, 4/5

NHL-potential: Top-Pairing Defenseman

Draft Range: 15th – 35th Overall

Scouting report

"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, EP 2015)"


Dante Fabbro has everything that he needs to be a quality powerplay quarterback at the NHL level. His passing, his skating, his vision, and his on-ice hockey IQ are all superb while he has the shot-first mentality that the new-age NHL players all seem to have. His puck handling shows great confidence offensively while his stick is very active when he is defending.

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Not to forget, his shot is deceptively quick.

His decision-making ability is the biggest asset here, though, as he seems to thrive under the high-tempo play and dictate possession by being effective defensively in his own end. He does not sacrifice much defense for the sake of offense as many of the offensive defensemen seem to do at this level.

His body, while not the biggest, is solid and suited to finishing his checks. He is compared to now-RFA Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie. The fact that he is a righty also serves him well.

Last but not least, his leadership on and off the ice has shown through. He ended the year as his team’s most dependable defenseman who played in all situations.


Although improved, Fabbro’s knack for taking shots is certainly not being backed up by the accuracy. His shots are hard and quick to be released, but accuracy is an issue that he has battled ever since the beginning of the season.

And despite the ability and the tendency to initiate contact to apply pressure on the offense, Fabbro has shown that he is weary of taking hits to make the defensive play in his zone. That will need to be fixed as he nears the pro level.

His size certainly does not help either. Although not a “weakness” at six feet, if there is one part of him that would keep him from being an elite defenseman at the NHL level would be his lack of size that leads to a lack of presence when defending against the big men of the NHL.

Final Thoughts

Although being ranked as one of the top pro-ready defensemen of the draft, Fabbro has taken care to commit to the NCAA with Boston College. The Canucks would not mind having a local boy continue the Canuck legacy that netminder Thatcher Demko has left behind at Boston College.

Although the BCHL is not as highly touted a league as its CHL rivals, Fabbro has brought upon himself a great opportunity to compete and excel far above the blueliners of the OHL, the WHL, and the QMJHL. His hockey sense is so complete and his tools are coming to maturity. The skating, the passing, the vision, and the defensive coverage ability are, arguably, are among the top five defenders available at this year’s draft.

Fabbro is especially special because he has learned not to sacrifice the defense for the offense. Prepare to see him drafted as high as the fourth defenseman, after Olli Juolevi, Jakob Chychrun, and Jake Bean.

Next: More 2016 NHL Draft Profiles

Although the Canucks are currently not in the position to be able to draft Fabbro with their top selections, they could very much use a dynamic two-way defender. Fabbro has bought himself time by choosing to spend the coming years with the Hockey East program. One can only wonder how good he will be in a couple of years, already being touted as one of the most pro-ready prospects in the draft.