Dante Fabbro was already a fan of the Nashville Predators before they called his name with the 17th overall selection on Friday night at the 2016 NHL Draft in Buffalo.
Now, the defenseman is sporting the logo as a proud member of the organization.
Fabbro, who was named the 2016 Canadian Junior Hockey League’s top defenseman in 2015-16, couldn’t have been happier to join the club. His smile gave him away.
“I grew up loving the Preds,” Fabbro said. “It’s definitely a special moment for me and my family. I’m honored and humbled to be a part of this organization, and hopefully in the future I can make an impact.”
Predators General Manager David Poile says the team had Fabbro rated in their top 17 and got exactly what they wanted in the 6-0, 189-pound blueliner.
“He’s a good, all-around defenseman who plays in all situations,” Poile said. “This should be a guy who, if he develops the way we feel that he should, in the next few years, he should be a top four defensemen and he should play in all situations. We’re not in any hurry to have to replace our current four, but two or three or four years down the road, this could be the type of guy who would be perfect to move into our lineup.”
Fabbro describes himself as a two-way defenseman and has committed to Boston University for the fall of 2016. He lists Shea Weber as his favorite player and says he tries to model his game after the Preds captain; both players hail from British Columbia, not too far from Vancouver, the same city center Ryan Johansen calls home. Johansen, who was on the Draft stage when the Preds selected Fabbro (Johansen’s brother Lucas was later picked 28th overall by the Washington Capitals), is also from Vancouver.
“It’s just an honor; it’s such a great organization, and to be drafted by the same team [Weber plays for], it’s definitely a cool moment for me. I know my family thinks the same thing,” Fabbro said. “I’m happy with this organization; what they did last year in the playoffs was pretty spectacular, so it’s a huge honor to be a part of this, and I’m looking forward to working hard and going to development camp.”
Not only were Poile and his staff impressed with Fabbro’s maturity on and off the ice, they are excited to see what he can do at the NCAA level and continue to develop into the defenseman they believe he can be. The Preds have seen some of their other prospects develop at Boston University, including forward Colin Wilson.
“His favorite player is Shea Weber, his favorite team is Nashville Predators; I think this is a pretty good fit,” Poile laughed.
In addition to his fondness for the team, Fabbro has two sisters who play soccer at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee. If Fabbro is lucky enough to get the chance one day, they’ve already filled him in on what to expect inside Bridgestone Arena.
“My sisters go to school just outside Nashville, and they talk about how great the city is,” Fabbro said. “They ended up going to some games, and they said that it’s just an unbelievable atmosphere. Hopefully, someday I can be a part of that.”