Robby Fabbri is right on time.
The likely NHL first-round pick was at an impressionable age in the mid-aughties when big-league hockey reacquainted itself with a more free-flowing style of play that embraced the smaller, skilled player. Over the years, the stigma against prospects with the Guelph Storm star's dimensions, 5-foot-10¼ and 170 pounds, has also faded.
"It's an inspiration, the game's not all about size," Fabbri said of the changes that have taken place in the NHL since 2005, when he was a nine-year-old puck-chaser in Mississauga. "When you have small guys with big heart and grit, it's equal to being six-foot-five, when you're not scared to go into corners and play bigger than your size, I don't think it's a big deal at all."
Fabbri was No. 21 in NHL Central Scouting Service's final North American ranking. That was issued before he won OHL playoff MVP honours and helped the Storm come within one win of capturing the Memorial Cup. He's expected to perhaps sneak into the top 10. It's reminiscent of the rise another 5-10 centre from the OHL, Jeff Skinner, had four years ago with the Kitchener Rangers before going directly to the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes.Read More »from NHL draft tracker: Robby Fabbri, Guelph Storm