Next up in our annual prospect review and forecast series is Joe Snively, forward for the Hershey Bears. (You can access all of our Capitals Prospect Reports and player analysis on our “Prospects” page right here.)
Snively is a 24-year-old left-handed winger who played for Yale prior to graduating in the spring of 2019. The Herndon, Virginia native was never drafted but signed with the Capitals as a free agent. He signed a two-year contract with the Caps for $925,000 per year on March 18, 2019, but the contract did not take effect until July 1, 2019. He will be a restricted free agent at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
Snively played three seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, and 2014-15) for the Sioux City Muskateers in the United States Hockey League (USHL) and improved in goals and assists each season.
Snively then played four seasons at Yale University. During the 2015-16 season, he scored 10 goals and had 18 assists and was the Ivy League Rookie of the Year. During the 2016-17 season, he scored 14 goals and had 25 assists. He received Honorable Mention in each of his first two seasons as Yale.
During his junior year, 2017-18, he scored 19 goals, had 17 assists and was First Team All-Ivy Selection and a Second Team All-ECAC Selection. During the 2018-19 season, his senior year, he scored 15 goals and had 21 assists. He was a Hobey Baker Award nomination and was also a First Team All-ECAC, First Team All-Ivy, and First-Team All-New England selections.
After signing with the Capitals, Snively signed a Player Tryout (PTO) Contract with the Hershey Bears after his college season was over. Snively played in nine games for the Hershey Bears near the end of the 2018-19 season and, in his short time there, scored teo goals and had 5 assists.
The 2019-2020 season was a breakout season for Snively. He would record 12 goals and 12 assists in just 45 games played, finishing with a shooting percentage of 15.0% for the season. He also recorded his first professional hat trick on February 25th against the defending champion Charlotte Checkers. Snively finished the abbreviated season first in goals and second in points among all Bears rookies. He has 14 goals and 17 assists in just 54 AHL games.
2019-2020 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2019-2020 season. You can find all of our weekly and monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
The Herndon, Virginia native started the season on the top-line. He struggled in that role. It was a case of too much, too soon. He was scoreless and was a minus-3 in his first three games. Through nine games, Snively is a team-worst minus– 4. His play has not been good enough in his own zone and he needs to be stronger on the puck. At the end of the month, the Yale product was dropped to the third-line and has played better in that role. He potted his first goal of the season at Laval on October 19 and has two points on the season.
Trending – Down
After a very slow start, Snively has shown signs of life. He had two points through his first 15 games and was dropped down into the bottom six. The Yale product’s overall play began to improve. He has amassed five points in a four-game point streak. He potted his second goal of the season on November 23 at Bridgeport. The Herndon, Virginia native followed that with a goal at Providence on the following afternoon. Snively then tallied twice against Providence in his next game. The streak has moved Snively into a four-way tie for second place on the team in goals scored and he has earned his way back into a top six role. Considering Snively’s current hot streak and highly marketable hometown status, look for him to possibly get a call-up to Washington in the near term.
Coming off a strong November, Snively continued to produce offensively in December. The Herndon, Virginia native potted four goals in the month and dished out three assists. The Yale University product tallied two game-winning goals in the month, including the overtime winner against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on December 8. He now has three game-winning goals on the season, which is second on the team. Snively’s nine goals are the third-most on the Bears and he leads the team with a 17.6 shooting percentage.
After posting two strong months offensively, Snively started off January by recording an assist in his first two games of the month. Unfortunately for Snively, he would be injured in his third game of January after Bridgeport’s Kyle Burroughs drove him in to the boards. Burroughs would receive a two-game suspension for the hit, but Snively has not played since and is listed as week-to-week with an upper body injury.
Snively returned on February 7 after missing a month with an injury. He did not score in his return, but followed it up by recording an assist in his next two games. The Herndon, Virginia native then went on a four-game scoreless streak. Snively broke out of that slump in a big way. The Yale University product tallied his first professional hat trick against Charlotte on February 25 and also added an assist to post a four-point game. He had one assist against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 29 to finish the month with eight points in nine games.
Where was lifelong Caps fan Joe Snively when the Caps won the #StanleyCup? Outside the arena celebrating with all of you
Get to know the recent college ufa 👇 pic.twitter.com/AzbgrVlYMm
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) July 18, 2019
Snively became a key player for the Bears as the 2019-2020 season progressed. He possesses a pretty good shot, has excellent ice awareness and read plays quickly. He will need to work on his puck battling and play along the boards, although he’s done fairly well at those skills so far in his development tract.
Snively will return to Hershey for the 2020-2021 season, where he will look to top the 20-goal plateau, as well as continue his strong showing on special teams. He will also be looked to for more of a leadership role this coming season. His ceiling is a bottom six role with the Capitals. Look for a call-up at some point during the 2020-2021 season, for experience, and for the story, as the hometown kid makes good and plays in front of his hometown folks and family.
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By Jon Sorensen