After 112 college games, 89 junior games and two stints with Team Canada at the World Junior Championships, Penticton Vees grad and Boston University alum Dante Fabbro made his much-anticipated NHL debut on Saturday for the Nashville Predators, only days after signing his entry-level contract.
The 20-year-old played over 16 minutes and recorded three shots, three blocks and one hit playing alongside veteran NHL defenceman and former Vancouver Canuck Dan Hamhuis.
“It was a lot of fun,” Fabbro told the Predators website. “Going into the game, I was a little bit nervous, but the guys really helped me out out there. I got an unfortunate play in the second, but I was able wash that away and try to get back at my game.”
“He was really good,” his coach Peter Laviolette added. “I thought his game was strong. He delivered some pucks to the net, did a good job defensively, and moved things quickly. He’s a good skater, and he seemed to see everything fine, so I thought his game was good for coming into that situation.”
Fabbro, who is from Coquitlam, was drafted in the first round by Nashville, 17th overall, in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He headed to Boston University after that and played three seasons for the Terriers, where he amassed 80 points. He was named a Hockey East Second-Team All-Star the past two seasons and was named team captain in his third and final year.
The 6-foot, 189-pound blueliner also played in back-to-back World Juniors for Team Canada, winning gold in 2018 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Fabbro played two seasons in Penticton from 2014 to 2016, totaling 100 points in 91 regular-season games. He also added another 23 points in 32 playoff games and won a Fred Page Cup championship in 2014-15.