The NHL Entry Draft is two months away, but most fans can't name more than a few eligible prospects. And that's fine, there are no Crosby's in this year's edition, in fact there's some real question about the #1 overall selection. All of these things will suss themselves out as time goes by, and by draft day most draft fans will have 30 or so names surrounded.
I'd encourage you to remember the name Robby Fabbri. Why? He's a helluva player.
- On Fabbri: "I really like him and think he is an absolute game changer. Some may have some hesitation based on his size but I don't care for that because all I see is an extremely skilled player. Fast and elusive and has the ability to take over a game. One such instance was against the Greyhounds in December when he scored the tying goal with less than a second to play before capping the hattrick with the winner in OT. A former OHL cup champion who I can see taking over come playoff time. I fell there is still some upward mobility in his draft ranking. - Anonymous quote from this article.
I used NHL equivalencies from time to time, especially around this time of season. The idea is to let the air out of the junior numbers and post them in NHL equivalency. Gabriel Desjardins came up with a ratio several years ago based on decades of info, and the number came in at 30% (30% of junior production will be taken to the NHL in the following season, etc). Rob Vollman has a slightly different ratio, based on more recent information. Vollman's NHLE for the top players in this year's draft are here:
DRAFT ELIGIBILES USING VOLLMAN NHL EQUIVALENCIES (per 82gp)
- Sam Bennett (OHL) 16-23-39
- Robby Fabri (OHL) 19-18-37
- Sam Reinhart (WHL) 13-24-37
- Nikolaj Ehlers (QMJHL) 17-18-35
- Michael Dal Colle (OHL) 14-21-35
- Leon Draisaitl (WHL) 13-22-35
- Nick Ritchie (OHL) 16-14-30
- Ivan Barbashev (QMJHL) 11-19-30
- Brendan Perlini (OHL) 14-16-30
- Jake Virtanen (WHL) 14-7-21
Robby Fabbri is a small center. If this was 1976, or 1990, he wouldn't have a major future. However, this is 2014, and as was the case with Nic Petan last season, some NHL team is going to get insane value on this player.