Fabbri, 23, comes with much more fanfare because of his past, but it is hard to know exactly what the Red Wings are getting. Selected 21st overall in 2014, the speedy Guelph Storm winger looked like a lock to become a middle-six scoring forward that could help on the powerplay. Fabbri did exactly that in his first season in the NHL, scoring 18 goals and 37 points as a rookie in 2015-16.
Unfortunately, his career would be completely derailed by major knee injuries thereafter. Fabbri would miss the entire 2017-18 season and has played just 164 total games in his NHL career. He had just six points in 32 contests in 2018-19 and has been ineffective during limited opportunity this year. In Detroit he’ll be given a bigger chance, but it is a disappointing return for the Blues after they invested so much in the young forward.
The 24-year old de La Rose never did grow into the two-way power forward center that the Montreal Canadiens were hoping for when they picked him 34th overall in 2013. Instead, he found himself bouncing up and down from the minor leagues for short stints, never finding much consistency in his game or his opportunity. Eventually, the Canadiens decided that they could no longer justify his roster spot and put him on waivers where the Red Wings snatched him up, though the results wouldn’t really change.
In 60 games last season de La Rose scored just nine points, and though he’s off to a better pace this time around—four in 16—it appears he’ll never be much of an offensive threat in the NHL.
Amazingly, the two carry the same $900K cap hit and will both become restricted free agents at the end of the season.