LA Kings: Brock Faber a finalist for B1G Defensive Player of the Year

LA Kings (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images) /

Brock Faber’s growth over the last year has been spectacular, going from LA Kings draft pick to a finalist for B1G Defensive honors.

The next defensive prospect in the pipeline, Brock Faber was selected by the LA Kings in the second round of the 2020 NHL Draft. Mark Yannetti and the Kings scouting department moved up six spots in the draft to grab Faber, completing a second round that also saw them take defenseman Helge Grans with the 35th overall pick.

Faber switched his collegiate commitment from Notre Dame to Minnesota, and he helped lead the Golden Gophers to a 20-6-0 record. Perhaps more impressive, Faber was part of a defensive unit that surrendered 44 goals in conference play. The 18-year-old missed four of those games because he was selected to play for Team USA in the 2021 World Juniors.

It took exactly one game for Team USA head coach Nate Leaman to promote Faber to the team’s second pairing alongside Cam York. Faber tallied five assists en route to Team USA’s Gold Medal victory.

“I really like his feet, and I really like his strength,” Leaman said about the young defenseman. “He has a body type where he’s very strong from the knees to his torso, and his feet are pretty elite. Then his ability to gap guys and his ability to recover and his ability to make up space.”

Back on campus, Faber tallied just one goal and five assists in 22 games, but, as previously noted, he was part of the top defensive pairing for the Golden Gophers alongside Ryan Johnson.

Faber is a finalist for the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, up against York (Michigan) and Wisconsin Badgers defenseman Ty Emberson. The Flyers drafted York with the 14th overall pick in 2019. He brings a little bit more to the table offensively than Faber, tallying three goals and 18 points in 22 games for Michigan this past season.

As for Emberson, he’s the veteran of the trio, selected in the third round of the 2018 NHL Amateur Draft by the Coyotes. In his third year in Madison, Emberson scored three goals with seven assists while serving as the Badgers’ team captain.

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All signs point toward Faber returning to Minnesota next year for additional seasoning, but the future looks bright for the true freshman from Maple Grove, Minnesota.