Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Brock Faber.
Maple Grove, Minnesota native Brock Faber has spent the last two seasons with the United States National Team Development Program. Playing with the Under-18 squad, the defenceman put up three goals and nine assists for 12 points in 46 games this year. He helped the team to a second-place finish at the Five Nations. Last season he was part of the Under-17 squad. He scored three goals and 12 assists for 15 points in 53 games. He also had a one-game call-up to the Under-18s. Faber played for the US at the 2018 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He put up two assists in five tournament games. Faber also helped the U.S. win a silver medal in the 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament.
Faber is committed to playing hockey for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers next year.
In 2017-18 Faber was named the Youth Hockey Hub Bantam Player of Year for Minnesota. He played four games for the Minnesota Blades in the NAPHL U15, putting up six assists. He also played 14 games for the MNBEL Kings, scoring five goals and 11 assists for 16 points. Born on August 22nd, 2002, Faber is one of the younger players in this draft class.
Brock Faber Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born August 22nd, 2002 — Maple Grove, Minnesota
Height 6’0″ — Weight 193 lbs [183 cm/88 kg]
Faber is a good skater, but there are still areas that he can improve. His first step and acceleration are both well above average. His top-end speed is also well above average. This is true in both directions and helps him to be effective at both ends of the ice. He has good pivots and is able to transition quickly from offence to defence and vice-versa. Faber’s edgework and agility are also very good. This allows him to move laterally, walking the line in the offensive zone and staying in front of attackers when defending. For his age, his lower body strength and balance are decent. He is strong on the puck and wins battles along the boards and in front of the net. However, he will need to get stronger going forward as he moves to higher levels of hockey.
Faber has not put up big numbers on the US NTDP but may have some untapped offensive potential. He is mainly a safe, stay-at-home type of defender. If he is coached on how and when to take more offensive chances, he could score more as he has some skill. His one-timer has power and he does a good job of getting the puck on net. With his lateral mobility, he should be able to walk the line and create shooting lanes even when defenders pay more attention to him as a threat. He can also sneak in from the line and let go of an effective wrist shot at the top of the circles.
Faber has good hands that he pairs with his skating ability to retrieve loose pucks, avoid forecheckers and get the puck out of his own end. He also makes good decisions and is effective with his first pass to start the transition game. When he has the puck at the opponent’s blue line, he is quick to move it. Faber prefers the quick, safe pass, or dumping it in the corner rather than keeping the puck on his stick and trying to create a play. He will need confidence in his abilities and to take a few more chances in order to develop his offensive game.
The bread and butter of Faber’s game is his work in the defensive zone. He reads the play extremely well and puts himself in a good position to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He also uses his strong backwards skating and good lateral mobility to maintain good gap control and force offenders to the outside. Faber’s quick stick can knock the puck away from an opponent. He is also willing to play physical. While Faber is not a big hitter, he is not afraid to battle along the boards and to clear the front of the net. Faber’s ability to move the puck up the ice helps his team clear the zone quickly and limits the opponent’s zone time.
Projection and Comparison
Faber’s skating and defensive game make him a legitimate NHL prospect. If he is able to develop, he could be a top-four player, capable of helping on the penalty kill. While he has some offensive skills, Faber is not likely to become an offensive catalyst at the NHL level. He will need some time in the NCAA, continuing to round out his game and improve his strength. His game is reminiscent of Charlie McAvoy, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Brock Faber that are available on youtube.
? Team USA goal!
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) November 6, 2018
— Velocity Hockey Center (@VelocityHockey) September 24, 2017
Here Brock Faber closes quickly on the oncoming forward to create the turnover. Tanner Latsch ignites the breakout with a pretty zone exit pass and it's numbers for Team ??.
— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) November 6, 2018
Impressive sequence for Team ??. Chase Yoder lays a hit in the slot as the puck goes the other way.
Brock Faber does a great job of cutting off the forward and taking the puck. He controls, finds Jacob Truscott, who's first pass leads to a controlled zone exit and entry. #NTDP pic.twitter.com/JBmpz1GPjz
— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) November 9, 2018
Team ?? 2 RedHawks 2 pic.twitter.com/RvfswtVaKs
— Stars n’ Stripes Hockey (@StarsStripesHKY) November 2, 2019
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Brock Faber Main Photo:
PLYMOUTH, MI – DECEMBER 11: Brock Faber #34 of the U.S. Nationals controls the puck against the Slovakia Nationals during game two of day one of the 2018 Under-17 Four Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on December 11, 2018, in Plymouth, Michigan. Team USA defeated Slovakia 7-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)