Dante Fabbro traveled far and wide this season to best prepare himself to earn a full-time role with the Nashville Predators next season.
Fabbro played 38 games in his junior season with Boston University, represented Canada at the Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland in December, turned pro and made his NHL debut with the Predators on March 30, played six games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April, and is playing for Canada at the 2019 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.
"To say the least, this last year has been a pretty big whirlwind," said Fabbro, who at age 20 is the youngest defenseman on Canada's roster. "I played my last year at school, got to play in the Spengler Cup, signed in Nashville and came here at the end of the year.
"Man, it's been a lot of fun. I've met a lot of great people along the way. Big thanks to all the guys at Nashville for helping me make that jump feel comfortable and making that next step."
Fabbro signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Predators on March 27, forgoing his senior season at Boston University, where he was captain. The signing came five days after the Terriers were eliminated in the semifinal of the Hockey East tournament by Northeastern.
It was an anticipated jump for Fabbro, the No. 17 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.
"I always knew I could," said Fabbro, who set NCAA career-highs in assists (26) and points (33) this season and was named Hockey East Second Team All-Star for the second consecutive year. "Obviously you never know until you actually try. With Nashville being such a great team and such a good 'D' core, I just wanted to go in and learn as much I could. I think I did, from all those guys."
Fabbro was impressive in 10 games before the Predators were eliminated from the Western Conference First Round by the Dallas Stars in six games.