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 or right here.)
Snively is a 25-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 a two-year contract with the Capsitals in 2019 for $925,000 per year on March 18, 2019. The Capitals re-signed Snively to a one-year two-way contract extension on June 3, 2021.
Snively played three seasons (2012-15) for the Sioux City Muskateers in the United States Hockey League (USHL), improving 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 two 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 had 14 goals and 17 assists in just 54 AHL games.
The 2020-21 season was relatively quiet for Snively. He recorded six goals and 11 assists in 30 games played, which is not bad, but there was no significant step forward during the abbreviated season.
2020-2021 MONTH-BY-MONTH RECAP AND TREND ANALYSIS
The following month-by-month breakdown is an aggregation of our monthly prospect reports prepared during the 2020-21 season. You can find all of our weekly and monthly prospect reports on our “Prospects” page in the top menu.
Snively was invited to attend Capitals training camp, which began on January 3. He would make a nice play for a goal in the camp’s first scrimmage.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) January 7, 2021
He was re-assigned to Hershey on January 11. The Bears opened training camp on Saturday, January 23. The season began for the Bears on February 5 against the Binghamton Devils.
The Herndon, Virginia native skated on Hershey’s top line with center Mike Sgarbossa and right winger Garrett Pilon. After failing to record a point in his first two games of the season, Snively posted a two-point game against Lehigh Valley on February 14. He put the Bears in front 16 seconds into the game, firing home his shot from the left circle.
He later assisted on Cameron Schilling’s second period goal. The Yale product was held off the scoresheet in his next two games, but ended the month by recording a point in his last three games of the month. He assisted on Mike Sgarbossa’s second period goal at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on February 24 and then added a helper in Newark against Binghamton on February 26.
Snively started the scoring for Hershey against Binghamton on February 27 by sliding his shot in during a mad scramble in front. The first period goal would be all the Bears would need in a 3-0 victory. Snively is also tied for the team lead in plus/minus with a plus five.
March was a good month for Snively. He posted seven points and netted a pair of goals in the month.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 20, 2021
One of those goals was the game winner on March 24 when he snuck his shot past Lehigh Valley goalie Alex Lyon’s right arm. It was his second game-winning goal of the season which was tied for the second most on the team.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) March 25, 2021
The Herndon, Virginia native had a five-game point streak from March 19 through March 28 and had points in 10 of his last 13 games. He is producing on a consistent basis.
Snively was tied for second on the team in scoring with 12 points. The winger had eight assists on the season, tied for the second most on the Bears.
After a seven-point month in March, the Herndon, Virginia native cooled off a little bit in April. Part of that was due to Snively missing a week due to injury. He potted his fifth goal of the season on April 7 against Binghamton when deposited a rebound from a Brett Leason shot into the net.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) April 8, 2021
Snively registered a helper in his next game when he picked up the primary assist on Aliaksei Protas’ opening goal. After going scoreless in a game against Binghamton, Snively was then injured in practice and missed Hershey’s next three games. He returned for the final game of the month and had a secondary assist on Matt Moulson’s second period power play goal.
Snively had his lowest point total of the season in May. Snively recorded a goal and assist in the month. His lone goal of the month came in the second period of a 3-0 win over Lehigh Valley on May 8.
— NoVa Caps (@NoVa_Caps) May 8, 2021
Snively was hot in March, but was not the same player after being injured in practice in April. He totaled three points in his last eight games after coming back from his injury. Snively concluded the season with six goals and 11 assists. Half of his goals were of the game-winning variety, tied for the second most on the team behind Connor McMichael.
TRENDING – DOWN
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 2020-21 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 storyline and plays in front of his hometown folks and family.
By Jon Sorensen
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