Dante Fabbro is tempering expectations for his play entering his rookie British Columbia Hockey League season with the Penticton Vees.
Fabbro, 16, is maintaining a level attitude as he makes the jump from the B.C. Major Midget Hockey League’s Vancouver Northwest Giants.
“I don’t know if I’m going to play that well,” said Fabbro. “I think my expectations are not too high, not too low.”
Fabbro, who was drafted by the Seattle Thunderbirds in the first round last year, discussed with his parents where he should play. While he had a good experience with the Langley Rivermen as an affiliate last season, discussions with Vees coach-GM Fred Harbinson led him to realize that coming to the Okanagan and developing with the Vees was the right move. He wants time to grow.
“I have days where I really want to go to college,” said Fabbro, who led all B.C. Major Midget Hockey League defencemen in scoring last season with 22 goals and 61 points in 38 games. “It’s kind of back and forth, right. Throughout this next year (I want to) figure out what’s best for me.”
For now, the 2013 Hockey Now Minor Hockey Player of the Year wants to enjoy being a Vee. He said looking at the roster, it’s impressive.
“Fred and the Penticton Vees have put a good team together,” said Fabbro, who hopes to help the Vees win a championship. “It’s kind of up to us now to kind of buckle down and do our best.”
The Vees kicked off their training camp last Friday with an intra-squad game between Team White, which Fabbro played on, and Team Blue for the Peaches Cup. Team Blue won 5-4 on a breakaway goal by Demico Hannoun.
Fabbro said his play “wasn’t too bad.”
“It was tough, definitely with the older guys in there in the corners and stuff like that,” said Fabbro. “I think they let up a little bit in the corners.
“I think it was a pretty steady pace the whole game,” he continued. “I think the vets in there kind of kept the pace up … and helped the younger guys.”
Growing up in Whistler, Fabbro was a fan of the Detroit Red Wings and New York Rangers because of their playing styles. Fabbro liked the Red Wings pace that kept its opponents on their toes, while the Rangers were more defensive. Both are styles that Fabbro wants in his game. Then there is the play of Nicklas Lidstrom, whose skillset Fabbro wants to bring into his play.
In talking about Lidstrom, Fabbro said he liked the way the Swede handled himself on and off the ice, adding that is the reason people call him “the Perfect Human.”