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Farabee Blazing New Trail For His Hockey Family

U.S. NTDP forward is a top prospect in this year's NHL Draft

by Nick Hecht / is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2018 NHL Draft in Dallas on June 22-23. Joel Farabee is the No. 12-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the 16th overall selection at the draft.

Joel Farabee grew up at the ice rink. The right wing for the United States National Team Development Program started playing hockey when he was just 3 years old, but even before that he was watching his older brothers, Jake and Jesse.

"Both my older brothers played so they got me into it. Everything just took off from there," said Farabee of his hockey roots to "I always watched them. They were on older teams. They inspired me to want to get to that level."

Farabee, 18, has a chance to be the first of the brothers drafted into the NHL, but he still learns from his brothers' careers, especially his oldest brother Jake, a forward for division-III Connecticut College.

"He has a really good work ethic and really showed me how to be successful in hockey and how to get to that next level wherever you are and to be a really good person along the way," Farabee said of Jake.

When Farabee had the opportunity to take his talent and the lessons from his older brothers to Plymouth, Michigan, and play at USA Hockey's National Team Development Program, there was nothing but delight from the brothers that helped build his interest in the sport and get him to this point in his career.

"They were really excited," Farabee recalled, "They told all their friends. It was a really exciting time."

In his time in Plymouth, Farabee has proven to be a natural goal scorer and playmaker. In 62 games last season with the under-18 team, Farabee had 33 goals and 43 assists and was second on the team in points. He also improved physically after a tough season with the U-17 squad the previous year.

"Personally, it was really good to gain weight and get stronger," said the 6-foot, 169-pound forward, "Personally, for how bad it was, it really brought us together as a team. We really struggled in our [under-17] year but after spring training, we were ready for this year."

Video: Joel Farabee Scouting Report

Now after a successful under-18 campaign, Farabee sets his sights on the NHL Draft and division I college hockey, both new achievements for his family. He is NHL Central Scouting's 12th-ranked North American skater and has committed to playing at Boston University in the fall.

Even as the competition gets more skilled, older and bigger, Farabee does not lack confidence.

"I think I have a really good ability to see the ice," Farabee said to "I can make plays through the neutral zone, I'm good in the [defensive] zone and create a lot of offense from that is something I do pretty well. And also being a two-way forward, I think my defensive game is pretty good along with my offensive ability, so that really helps."

With these skills that he's developed from his siblings and at the U.S. NTDP, Farabee hopes to extend his hockey success at BU and eventually to the NHL.

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