2018 NHL draft prospect profile #12: Joel Farabee

PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Joel Farabee #28 of the USA Nationals skates to the bench after a goal against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 16, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. USA defeated Russia 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Joel Farabee
PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 16: Joel Farabee #28 of the USA Nationals skates to the bench after a goal against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 16, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. USA defeated Russia 5-4. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Joel Farabee /

As we approach the top ten of the draft, we feature the captain of the US Development Program Team, Joel Farabee. He may lack size, but is very effective in all areas on the ice. With or without the puck, he is a dangerous player with a high-end skill set to boot.

Organized hockey has come a long way in the United States. In the past, major junior hockey was the go-to route for North American hockey players. Few teams paid attention to U.S. high schools and second tier junior teams. To this day, drawing from those pools have mixed results.

The NCAA was another option, but few draft-eligible players got the opportunity to play there in their draft seasons. American players needed a route that grouped the best players possible, grooming them in a more competitive environment before college hockey.

That’s where the U.S. National Team Development Program comes in. Several players ranging from Phil Kessel to Jack Eichel and Auston Matthews came from this program. For this year’s U18 team, much of the spotlight is on 2019 top prospect Jack Hughes, who secured a prominent role on the squad, despite being a year younger than everyone else.

Then there is his teammate, Oliver Wahlstrom, who simply dominated this season and led the U18 team in goals and points. Joel Farabee was part of this dominant top line with the other two, but is no passenger. He possesses an incredible cache of skills and has some of those intangible qualities Jim Benning is so fond of. While Farabee will likely be out of range for the Vancouver Canucks, a few other teams who were unlucky during the lottery could snag a special player.

The stats rundown

*Counting stats provided by EliteProspects

Height: 183 cm/6’0″

Weight: 76 kg/168 lbs

Birthdate: February 25, 2000

Position: Left Wing

Handedness: Left

Team (league): U18 U.S. National Development Team (USDP/USHL)







#11 by Cam Robinson (Dobber Prospects)

#15 by Craig Button

#14 by Bob McKenzie (April Rankings)




USDP (includes USHL)


You may have some questions about Farabee’s stat line. The U.S. National Team plays teams from all around the country, not just the USHL. Their competition includes various colleges and international teams from various tournaments. Since the strengths of all the teams they played are not equal, some services like Elite Prospects separates the USHL totals to give an idea if a player benefited more from weaker competition.

As you can see with Joel Farabee, it virtually did not matter where he played. The Cicero native performed very well this season, which should not be too surprising considering who he was playing with. However, Farabee was still proficient and racked up the points.

He finished second on the team in USDP scoring and third for games in the USHL. Farabee produced a lot of shots, averaging 3.3 of them per game. His 1.54 points-per-game pace rankned fourth in the USHL.

Lastly, I wanted to briefly highlight how well Farabee played at the World Junior U18 Tournament. Walking away with eight points in seven games was impressive and will surely boost his draft stock.

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Scouting reports

Scott Matla, Habs Eyes on the Prize:

"Farabee looks like the rare type of player to excel in both facets of the game with his combination of quick skating and great awareness on the ice. He’s always in a position to make plays happen and cut options for the other team. (…)Scouts have raved about his skating and how his edgework opens up space for him on the ice, and how he uses that to put the puck on net, or get it to one of his teammates. Farabee is a very good passer, and, even if he rarely tries for the one-on-one play, has underrated hand skills. (…)Farabee is capable of scoring efficiently, does well on the defensive side of the puck, and skates like the wind up and down the ice while being the leader on his team."

Cam Robinson, Dobber Prospects:

"The captain of the U18 USNTDP, Farabee is a dangerous and prolific scorer amongst his age group. Blessed with top-level skating ability and a mind for creating offense, the New York native can also be trusted in his own zone which facilitates further opportunities from the coaching staff. His level of play seems to rise when surrounded with high-level talent as indicated with the recent boon of production next to fellow draft-eligible prospect, Oliver Wahlstrom and top 2019 pick, Jack Hughes. While Farabee lacks ideal size, his ability to use his edges to slash in and out of lanes keeps opposing teams on their heels and keeps him off of the IR."

What we think

I think a good way to describe Joel Farabee is that he is slippery. The kid has soft hands, proficient on-ice instincts, but his greatest weapon of all is his skating. He is so mobile out there and covers the ice surface with ease. That speed isn’t just used to create offence either. Farabee is very active defensively, disrupting plays and cutting off the opposition.

He seems to excel in all three zones, using his greatest option to his advantage. Is he on the lighter side? Of course he is, but I think that is key to the way he controls the puck and can avoid contact. Smaller players are definitely thriving more in this league and Farabee looks like he could be the next guy to make a splash.

Furthermore, he will add strength during his development. Despite being light, he certainly has the right frame to get stronger while staying fast. You can teach strength, conditioning and positioning. However, nobody can teach skill and Joel Farabee has that in spades.

Next: 2018 NHL draft profile #13: Joe Veleno

I wouldn’t say he’s in the same tier as some of the players with top-line potential ahead of him, but he does project as a top-six winger. We may have him ranked outside the top ten, but with the volatility of rankings at the moment, I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds a way to sneak into that group. NHL teams still make the mistake of drafting for need, but this is one of those few drafts where need and the best player available may align. It just takes the right team at the right spot.