Joe Snively, the Yale senior forward and Herndon, Virginia native, who recently signed a two-year entry level contract with the Washington Capitals, met with the media via conference call Monday afternoon to discuss signing with his hometown team. Snively, 23, spent four years playing youth hockey for the Little Caps program at then-Kettler Iceplex. Asked if he grew up a Caps fan, Snively said, “Absolutely, I love the Caps.”
He said he’d been a fan since the black sweater era and was excited to watch the team capture the Stanley Cup last season. He believes the Capitals’ success over the last decade has helped grow youth hockey in Northern Virginia.
Snively said over the years he had met several Caps players at various community skating events but ran into one at an unlikely place: his dentist’s office. About ten years ago he was in his dentist’s waiting room when Alex Ovechkin walked in. Snively was able to retrieve some of his hockey gear from his car and got Ovechkin to sign a pair of his hockey gloves. Asked if he had a favorite Caps player, Snively said he admired Nicklas Backstrom. He called Backstrom someone he has tried to learn from because Backstrom is an “unbelievable passer” with great “playmaking ability.”
It has been reported that up to twenty teams expressed interest in signing Snively, but he said his agent spoke seriously with five or six clubs. After talking to scouts, Snively felt signing in D.C. was a good move, providing his best chance to achieve his dream of playing in the NHL. He mentioned he still has a “lot of work to do” to make that dream a reality. That work could begin as soon as this spring in Hershey. Snively said playing for the Bears this season was a possibility depending on how his class schedule matched up with Hershey’s remaining games.
By Bryan Hailey