The Detroit Red Wings have signed Robby Fabbri to a two-year contract extension, avoiding restricted free agency with the young forward. The announcement did not include financial details, but Craig Custance of The Athletic reports it will carry a $2.95MM average annual value. Fabbri is coming off a one-year $900K contract he signed with the St. Louis Blues before getting dealt to Detroit in November.
The 24-year old forward has had quite the rollercoaster career so far. Selected 21st overall in 2014, it only took the former Guelph Storm center a year before he was a full-time player in the NHL. Fabbri looked like a star early, scoring 18 goals and 37 points in his first season with the Blues, before leading the team in scoring during a long playoff run. Still just a teenager, he was on a path to becoming a household name and a core piece for St. Louis.
Unfortunately, in February 2017 everything changed. Fabbri tore his ACL and would miss the second half of his sophomore season, starting a brutal stretch that seemed at one point like it would end his career. He re-injured the knee that summer and ended up missing the entire 2017-18 season, meaning there was a 20-month stretch between games for the young forward. After returning to the Blues in 2018 he was a shadow of the player they once knew, and in another season dealing with injuries he managed to score just six points in 32 games.
By the time the 2019-20 season rolled around, the Blues had basically moved on with several other young players taking up full-time roles on the roster. After nine games he was sent to Detroit, where things have turned completely around.
In his first game with the Red Wings, Fabbri scored two powerplay goals after finally finding himself back in the top-six of an NHL lineup. He’d put up eight points in his first seven games with Detroit and finished with 31 in just 52 games following the trade. The fact that the Red Wings got him in exchange for Jacob de La Rose, who has just 37 points in 229 career NHL games, is an impressive feat for GM Steve Yzerman and the Detroit front office. After showing he is still capable of the production he showed early in his career, a nice two-year contract will afford Fabbri some stability financially while he continues to build himself back up.