Dante Fabbro knows that after Nashville’s big P.K. Subban trade this summer, he’s heading into 2019-20 with much higher expectations placed upon him.
Throughout David Poile’s tenure as Predators general manager he’s had to make some tough calls on defencemen, from Ryan Suter, to Shea Weber and Seth Jones. But every time he had to move one of them out, he always had a young defenceman capable of stepping right in and thriving with the opportunity.
Poile found himself in a tough position again this summer — needing to create more cap room — so he traded Subban to the New Jersey Devils just three years after acquiring him. The main reason Poile was confident in making that deal now was because of the development of Fabbro, who joined the NHL team for four regular season games and six playoff games last season after his NCAA career came to a close.
“I probably wouldn’t have made this trade if Dante Fabbro hadn’t signed with the Predators and hadn’t played as well as he did,” Poile said. “That gave me good confidence that … we still could have a good defence and trade somebody like P.K.”
Coming from a GM of an organization that has always had top-tier defensive talent, that’s high praise for Fabbro. The 17th overall pick from 2016 certainly has a level of play to live up to considering the history of Nashville blue liners, including today’s core led by Roman Josi, Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekholm.