Joe Snively grew up playing with the Washington Little Caps program on the same sheet of ice that he's been skating on this week at Capitals Development Camp and it has been a bit surreal for him.
Snively, a 23-year-old forward who grew up in Herndon, Virginia, has been a Capitals fan his entire life. He signed an entry-level contract with Washington earlier this year and finished up the season playing with the AHL Hershey Bears after three years with the Yale Bulldogs.
On Wednesday afternoon, he and all of his prospect teammates hosted a youth hockey clinic where over 100 local 10U hockey players got the chance to get pointers from some future NHL-ers.
One day, those same kids could be in the same position as Snively.
"I hope it gives them some inspiration and motivation that they can do this," Snively said about hosting the clinic. "I played youth hockey here and now to be in the organization competing, it's cool."
It's Snively's first development camp with Washington and to be able to hold a youth clinic with local kids is very special for him.
The clinic consisted of five different stations on each rink and each station had three prospects teaching drills - an opportunity that most kids could only dream about.
Not only is it fun for the kids but the players love doing it just as much.
"Seeing them smile, it's why we love playing and sometimes you might forget that," Snively said. "It's nice to get on the ice with kids where they're just having fun."
"It's an hour of our day and if we can make a few kids smile it's great for us," said Hershey Bears forward Shane Gersich. "I know the guys have a good time out there."