Joe Snively Fits The Mold For Next-Gen Capitals

The Washington Capitals had a disappointing season. That’s putting it lightly. After missing the playoffs for the first time in eight seasons, big changes are coming in 2023-24. 

One of the the Capitals’ primary goals this offseason is simple: get younger.

This season we got a glimpse of the future. Aliaksei Protas played 58 games and had a strong rookie season, putting up 15 points (four goals, 11 assists). However, former head coach Peter Laviolette was sometimes reluctant to utilize him.

When Caps fans think of the top prospects in the organization, they think of guys like Connor McMichael and Hendrix Lapierre. However, those players are still developing and have not been consistent at the NHL level whenever their names have been called upon. One player that has shown consistency is Joe Snively. 

In his 24-game NHL career, the Herndon, Virginia native, has 11 points (six goals, five assists). In 12 games played this season, he had four points (two goals, two assists). While those are not eye-catching numbers, the eye-test showed that the 27-year-old is one of the most effective young prospects in the organization.

This season in Hershey, he has 27 points (nine goals, 18 assists), which is ninth on the Bears. 

What makes the Yale product stand out is how hungry he is on pucks. He is a buzz-saw, winning puck battles to create scoring opportunities. His best game this season was a two-point night against the Carolina Hurricanes back on Feb. 14. 

The organization knows what he is capable of, but childhood friends have known about his competitive hunger for a while. 

Ontario Reign forward Ture Linden trains with Snively in the offseason. While they never played directly together on the Washington Little Caps because of age difference, a then 10-year-old Linden looked up to him. 

“I remember watching one of their practices and he was just relentless on pucks and all over the place. It always seems like he has endless energy,” Linden said. “I think he has that edge to him which is why he is where he is.”

That drive and hunger is the type of young player that Washington desperately needs in their upcoming campaign. 

Snively also takes those traits to practice as well, even if he is not in the lineup.

“That’s just how he is,” Linden said. “I don’t think he has an off switch when he’s on the ice.”

Snively is a versatile player that can play anywhere in the lineup. This is very important. As fans know, the core is aging, it gets banged up frequently and we don’t know the future’s of forwards Evgeny Kuznetsov and Anthony Mantha. 

Snively is hitting the prime of his career and the Caps are on the decline. Whoever the next bench boss will be, should take a good look at the local kid and put him strongly consider a roster spot for 82 games. 

He will be just as hungry for a roster spot next season just as he is on pucks in training camp in September. 

By Jacob Cheris

Hershey Bears’ Joe Snively Records First Professional Career Hat Trick In Win Over Checkers
“Hopefully the Goals and Points Will Come”: Hometown Prospect Joe Snively Discusses Growing Up In the DMV, His Transition to the Professional Game, and Scoring Slump
Capitals’ Scout Danny Brooks’ Signings of College Free Agents Joe Snively and Bobby Nardella Quietly Paying Big Dividends
Bears Blank Phantoms 3-0; Parker Milner Pitches Shutout; Garrett Pilon, Joe Snively And Brian Pinho Score Again
Joe Snively Keeps Scoring, Vitek Vanecek Heating Up: Week 12 Prospect Report
Bears Rally to Beat Penguins 3-2 in Overtime; Joe Snively Scores Game Winner
Bears Top Phantoms 2-1; Joe Snively Scores 5th Goal In Last 6 Games
Bruins Beat Bears 7-6 (SO) In Thanksgiving-Eve Slugfest; Joe Snively Scores Two Goals
Connor McMichael Scores Third Hat Trick In 20 Games; Joe Snively Scores In Back-To-Back Games; Beck Malenstyn Makes NHL Debut; Week 10 Prospect Update
Capitals Sign Joe Snively, A Northern Virginia Native, To Two-Year Entry Level Deal
“Absolutely. I Love The Caps.”: Joe Snively Is Coming Home
A Deeper Dive On Capitals New Signee Joe Snively
Yale Story on Snively Signing with Capitals
Washington Post Story on Snively Signing with Caps
Bears Sign Joe Snively To Tryout Agreement
Hershey Bears Rally To Beat Providence Bruins 2-1; Joe Snively Scores First Professional Goal

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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17 Responses to Joe Snively Fits The Mold For Next-Gen Capitals

  1. Anonymous says:

    Joe Snively really isn’t a prospect anymore, He’s 27. That’s about the time when most forward hot their prime. If this is Snively’s prime then he isn’t an NHLer, or even a very good prospect. What we see now with Snively is most likely all that we’re getting. Sure he has a great shot and is an above average skater, but he gets pushed off of the puck easily, and is invisible most games.

    • Anonymous says:

      “Prospect” is not defined by age, but status. What is the age limit for prospect? You would get a different answer from each person you asked. As far a scoring, he did better in points per minute than quite a few caps regulars, all while playing part time.

      • Anonymous says:

        He’s not a prospect, he’s only getting older, and he’s not going to he stronger. Calling him a prospect is like calling Scarbossa or McIlrath Prospects. In common thought, you lose prospect status if you can’t land an NHL job by a certain age, usually when you lose RFA status.

        • novafyre says:

          What should we call them? Candidates? Potentials? If they have a contract which allows them to be called up and are not Caps regulars, what are they? Calleruppers?

        • Anonymous says:

          Is this Peter? Peter Laviolette is this you? Sure sounds like it.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m not sure how my dislike of calling 27 year olds prospects makes me like Lavy, as he dislikes younger players and prefers older players. What I have been writing is about my bias toward younger players over older players with no real future in the NHL.

    • hockeydruid says:

      BLAH BLAH BLAH. You have no idea what a prospect is. A prospect is defined as a person regarded as likely to succeed. So there is no age attached to prospect. Honestly sounds to be like you are just a frustrated person who is jealous that others have a future that you do not! And if you are Anonymous how is anyone going to take you seriously because Anonymous is having no outstanding, individual, or unusual features; unremarkable or impersonal. So has he succeeded….yes he is in the process of being successful at his chosen profession however as he still has a ways to go he is still a prospect!

      • Anonymous says:

        I think you’re getting your hopes up for a player that probably won’t be able to succeed at the NHL level. Snively will probably always have great underlying numbers but won’t be able to put up real points like you all think he will. However, I am more than happy to eat my word in the future on him. It is super rare for players over 26 to break into the NHL like that. The Caps Fandom are so deprived of good prospects since Jakub Vrana that we don’t understand what a prospect is anymore.

        • hockeydruid says:

          A lot better than wasting time on vets who are expensive and wont be here long. Would rather give a kid a shot than sign another 30+ player just to fill a slot at more money. Not thinking he will be a superstar however if we can get him to be serviceable for the bridge years from now to when this team is competitive again he will have more than done his job. Also how long did Vrana last here and in Detroit? Like I said if he is serviceable or if in a year or 2 he gets traded for a pick or a prospect then he did his job here.

          • Anonymous says:

            Vrana was our best young player before Lavy decided to utilize him like a depth player and then magnagment traded him away. In his last full season with the Caps he was on a 30 goal 61 point pace. They traded him away before he could really prove himself as one of our best forwards, and he had blistering speed that the caps have not had since they traded him for Mantha. Vrana is doing great in St Louis by the way, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he hits 35 goals and 70 points next season. Snively is nothing like that, he’s at most a 15 goal scorer if a team is depleted enough to be forced to use him as a third liner, (which he shouldn’t be)

            • hockeydruid says:

              He had mental issues before lavi got here. He was kinked off the Czec national team. Defend him if you must but realize that he plays hard for awhile then disappears, similar to Mantha. He impresses to get the contract then is going to sit on his laurels and not do much. IF you think he is going to score 35 goals and get 70 points next season then I hope that you hhve him on your fantasy team but with his high being 25 and 27 I dont see that. In 8 seasons he has 108 goals for an average of 13.5 a season, LMAO @ 35 next year! Ill take 15 from Snively and you can have your head case!!

              • Sprak says:

                I don’t think you understand stats, you can’t take an average of career stats to predict totals. That high of 25 and 27 was in a season where he was on pace for 30 in a full 82. Vrana’s last season of 25 games put him on pace for 36 goals. Vrana’s last two seasons saw him with a pace for 38 goals. So no, I don’t think its that wild for him to hit or at least maintain that pace of 35 goals and 35 apples. Also I don’t really think Snively could hit 15 goals in an NHL season with how invisible he is most of the time, I was being generous to a player that I actually like watching when he plays well, but don’t think is a legit NHLer.

  2. Lance says:

    Snively has enough offensive skill that I can imagine him potting 20+ goals in the NHL. There’s no question at all about his skating and shot. It’s just a question playing enough defense and finding a team where he fits. Lavi didn’t see an NHLer in him.

    • hockeydruid says:

      Totally agree Lance and hopefully the next HC will give him a true shot. I think he would look good on the 3rd line for a retooling/rebuilding team and agree he is in the 20 goal club. I also don’t think its not that PL didn’t see him as an NHLer but rather than he was not an established player and PL didn’t like non established players or non-vets. Hopefully the next HC will be more open minded about young players!

  3. Prevent Defense says:

    Excellent analysis of an excellent player. Important points:

    “However, former head coach Peter Laviolette was sometimes reluctant to utilize [fill in the blank player]” – This was the main beef I had with HCPL! Caps no longer have luxury of “veterans only.” They MUST incorporate their young talents NOW, starting with Joe Snively

    “… he was just relentless on pucks and all over the place. It always seems like he has endless energy.” That was the M.O. of a young T. J. Oshie. If Snively can deliver similar tenacity, very good for the Caps.

    The TORTURE of a long, hot Washington summer with no Caps’ playoffs!

    • hockeydruid says:

      Don’t know which is worse missing the playoffs which results in a getter draft pick (I LIKE) or making the playoffs only to get arses kicked and exit in the first round (hate and tired of seeing this here the last 4 years). I like your bringing up Oshie as I have always felt that Snive reminded me of Oshie in many ways. Now to get Oshie off the ice and coaching to help the younger players would really help and the same with Backy!! Compensation for not making the playoffs: getting to watch the young Orioles and UM lacrosse and baseball!!

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