WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Washington Capitals, parent club of the AHL’s Hershey Bears, announced that the team has extended forward Joe Snively to a two-year extension worth $800,000. The Herndon, Virginia native became the first player in franchise history to play for the team as a native of Virginia. He scored his first NHL goal on February 10 in Montreal and has seven points (four goals, three assists) in 12 games played at the NHL level.
Prior to being recalled to the NHL at the end of January, Snively was playing his most impressive hockey at the AHL level with the Bears, where his 38 points (15 goals, 23 assists) in 35 games played still ranks atop the team a month and a half after his recall and was among the AHL’s leaders this season. Snively has been sidelined for the time being as he recovers from surgery on March 3.
Snively has been nothing short of elite during his time in Hershey this season, going on a scoring tear since tallying a hat trick against the Springfield Thunderbirds on November 7. He toppled his single-season bests in goals, assists, and points prior to being recalled alongside tallying four power-play goals, three shorthanded goals, and three game-winning goals. His plus-22 rating is still among the AHL’s leaders alongside teammate Lucas Johansen and tallied six points (four goals, two assists) in his last three games prior to the recall to Washington. Simply put, the Bears are a very good team when Snively is in the lineup, and it’s no secret that his absence, compounded with the subsequent injuries to Mike Sgarbossa and Garrett Pilon, contributed heavily to the team’s offense and produced a difficult month of February for the team.
— Bears Hockey Nation (@HBHNationBlog) January 26, 2022
“Joe is a versatile, skilled forward, and we are extremely pleased with his development this season,” said Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan in the team’s official release. “Joe has worked hard and put himself in a position to earn a spot on our team. It is a great testament to him and all the local youth hockey coaches and programming in our area that guided him along through this journey.”
It seems the 26-year-old will be given every opportunity to make the big club in Washington, as the contract is a one-way deal that indicates he is in the team’s future going forward. It does not exempt him from going to Hershey if assigned and provided he clears waivers but signals some internal reorganizing by the Capitals that will likely take place over the summer. For the immediate future, depending on the length of Snively’s recovery from injury, he may be assigned to Hershey once healthy as he’s currently waiver exempt.
Forward Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, who was recalled after Snively was placed on injured reserve, would need waivers to be assigned to the Bears and it may be a gamble for Washington to send him down as he was already claimed on waivers once before the season began. His name is one that Washington will be considering for future full-time play with the big club in the last year of his current contract in 2022-23. The contract is a big reward for Snively after his explosive offensive production this season and a nice reflection of the growth of the Little Caps organization that Snively grew up in prior to joining his hometown team.
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