In this edition of The Journey, we look at the fantasy potential of St. Louis Blues foward prospect Robby Fabbri.
Like so many others in Mississauga, Ontario children, Robby Fabbri grew up in a hockey family. From a young age, he displayed many of the characteristics that would eventually drive him towards an NHL career. Living in a hockey hotbed, the St. Louis Blues prospect played against many of the best players in the country, developing the competitiveness and work ethic needed to reach the highest levels of the sport.
Taken with the sixth overall selection in the 2012 OHL Priority Draft, Fabbri joined the Guelph Storm. In his two and a half seasons with the Storm, the talented forward lit up the scoresheet, averaging over a point per game in his OHL career. Fabbri compiled 171 points in 147 total regular season games and always seemed to take his game to another level when his team needed him the most. After the Storm finished the 2013-14 regular season with an OHL leading 52-12-2 record, Fabbri lead his Guelph team to the postseason title as well. After a 4-1 championship series win over the North Bay Batallion, Robby was presented with the Wayne Gretzky 99 Award given to the OHL Playoffs MVP.
The following summer, Fabbri was drafted 21st overall by St. Louis in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, a move that could be a steal in terms of draft position. Knocked by some scouts and organizations for his size, the talented forward fell into the lap of a team already stocked with talent. Although he only played 30 games in Guelph the season after being drafted, Fabbri posted 51 points and showcased the leadership that he had been known for throughout his career. He was an integral part of Canada’s Gold winning 2015 World Junior Championship team, tallying six points in five games before a high-ankle sprain ended his tournament in the quarterfinals. After recovering from the injury, Fabbri ended the season on a high note, playing in six games for the AHL’s Chicago Wolves. The brief stint was a confidence builder for the young forward, one that would help propel him to a great camp to start the 2015-16 season.
Making the team out of camp for the 2015-16 season, Fabbri impressed quickly, scoring his first NHL goal in his debut off a beautiful feed from linemate Jori Lehtera. Unfortunately, in his second NHL game the forward took an elbow to the head causing him to miss almost three weeks of time. Since returning this week he has yet to record a point, but has contributed in other ways with five shots on goal and four recorded hits. Look for Fabbri to continue to gain powerplay time, especially with Jaden Schwartz on the shelf for the time being.
When talking about Fabbri from a scouting perspective, versatility is a word that is often thrown around. Although he is an high-level offensive prospect, he is reliable in his own zone and is not afraid to battle on the forecheck. With the ability to play in all situations, he should not have the restrictions that some prospects have early in their career. However, given the Blues veteran roster, he will likely be brought along slowly and put in a position where he can succeed and develop.
Fantasy Potential: Fabbri is an undersized player that plays a skilled, yet physical game. As a relentless forechecker, the Blues prospect is not a one-trick pony when it comes to fantasy stats. He will put up his share of points, but will also help out fantasy owners in hits, plus-minus and other non-scoring catagories.
Dobber Prospect Rank: 21st ranked offensive prospect in DobberHockey’s Top 215
Fantasy Outlook: A-
Pros: Playmaking, Offensive Ability, Aggressiveness, Physicality
Cons: Durability, Size
Anticipated NHL Arrival: Fabbri cracked the opening night Blues roster to start the 2015-16 season, scoring in his debut. St. Louis has typically filled their roster spots with veteran players, but it appears Fabbri is at the top of the list of Blues forward prospects to stick. Look for him to be deployed in a scoring role, which fits his skill set.
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