Sunday will be a special night for the DMV as hometown kid Joe Snively makes his NHL debut with the Washington Capitals when they take on the Los Angeles Kings.
Snively got the call up on Sunday and took part in line rushes at morning skate; however, it wasn’t certain if he was playing, considering Tom Wilson and Garnet Hathaway were still being assessed. Ultimately, though, with Mike Sgarbossa and T.J. Oshie entering the COVID-19 protocol and Wilson moving to the IR, as well as Hathaway drawing back in, Snively will play in his first NHL game.
He got the rookie treatment, taking a solo lap at Capital One Arena, which is just 25 miles down the road from where he grew up.
An alum of Washington’s Little Caps program, Snively grew up in Herndon, Virginia. He went through the ranks, playing USHL Hockey before committing to play at Yale. He led the program in scoring for all four years and ultimately signed with Washington as a college free agent in 2019.
The 25-year-old said he is excited to get to draw in and that he hopes he can inspire local youth players to continue chasing their dreams.
“I mean I came from this area and I made it, so they can too,” Snively said. “Just trying to set an example for them.”
Snively said family and friends will be in attendance, and possibly some of his youth coaches. He will skate on the third line with Beck Malenstyn and Connor McMichael, two teammates he is familiar with from his time down in Hershey. Snively has played in 21 games with Hershey this season and leads the team in scoring with eight goals and 22 points.
“It’s nice having some familiar faces and friends that I played with in Hershey, guys I’m pretty close with,” Snively said. “It’s nice to see them here.
“Last couple years, I think most of us have played together and it’s been awesome to see them make their debuts and score their first goals so pretty special,” Snively added.