When you’re a projected early first round pick for the NHL Entry Draft, you can pick your college destination.
That was the case for Dante Fabbro and Tyson Jost of the Penticton Vees, who decided they wanted to pursue university scholarships.
Craving a big city experience, Fabbro committed to the Boston University Terriers, while Jost went with the University of North Dakota. Both men’s hockey programs are top-five in polls by USCHO.com and USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine.
Jost chose North Dakota in August, while Fabbro announced his decision on Thanksgiving Day. Jost hoped Fabbro would follow him.
Fabbro said Jost didn’t bug him too much about it. Not long after Jost made his decision, he was quoted in the Grand Forks Herald saying it was Fabbro’s turn to commit to UND.
“He went through the same situation,” said Fabbro, adding he held his decision longer since he wanted to go to more schools. “I got to do that with my flydowns which was something I was really happy I did and got to experience.”
A desire to experience big city life was one of the factors in Fabbro’s decision to go east.
“It’s definitely pretty cool,” said Fabbro, who spoke to the coaches and some alumni. “They carry themselves pretty well and the tradition there is all about winning and being a pro down there too. You kind of get the best of both worlds. You get the school atmosphere. You also get to live a civilized life down there. You are right down in the city. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.”
Other schools Fabbro considered were the University of Minnesota, Denver University, Boston College and North Dakota. He holds a lot of respect for the UND program, but decided it wasn’t the right place for him.
When it came to having the interest in him, Fabbro said his father told him once he got down to the final four schools, that he didn’t have a bad choice. Knowing that made the decision much easier, as well as having his parents and friend support.
“It was four pretty elite schools. It feels pretty special to be wanted,” said Fabbro, who grew up in Coquitlam and played for the Vancouver Northwest Giants in the B.C. Major Midget League. “It’s definitely a cool feeling. I’m just happy to be a Terrier.
“They all develop pro hockey players. That’s my main goal is to be a pro hockey player,” continued Fabbro. “I’m going to get that full package.”
Jost chose UND because it’s a world class school. In his interview with the Grand Forks Herald, he said he recalled his first visit when he was 15.
“I was like a kid in a candy store,” he said. “I couldn’t get enough.”
In talking about his decision at the time of the BCHL showcase, Jost said UND has a professional setting.
“Their rink is second to none, their coaching is second to none,” he told the Western News. “Their atmosphere is second to none. It’s just a really prestigious school and I’m looking forward to it. I think I definitely made the right choice.”
This season Jost wants to focus on his defensive skills. With a dream to play in the NHL, Jost said if people look in the NHL, every player is a two-way playing centre.
“I think I’m coming along very well. (Vees coach) Fred Harbinson has been sitting down with me. I think we have been going through a lot of key stuff that I have to develop,” said Jost. “I think I’m making really good progress. If I keep that up, everything should go well.”
International Scouting Services’ October top 30 ranked prospects for the NHL draft have Jost at 18. ISS posted on its Twitter account that Jost has “great hockey sense and ability to beat defenders one versus one. Could get BCHL scoring title this year.”
Jost said there is nothing he can’t get better at.
“That’s something I’m striving to do every time I get on the ice,” he said. “I just want to get better. That’s what it’s going to take to get to the NHL. I’m going to have to work hard to get there.”