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Sneep Makes Transition from College to Pro

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
The Takeaway:

> Sneep turns pro after playing four collegiate seasons at Boston College
> Sneep will be competing for a spot on the Penguins’ roster in training camp
> Sneep is still finding his game at the pro level, but developed as a two-way defenseman in college
> Sneep ended his college career at BC by winning the NCAA national title in 2010 as a senior; also won the title as a sophomore in 2008
> Sneep was paired defensively with fellow Penguins’ prospect Philip Samuelsson at BC
> Sneep was Pittsburgh’s second-round pick (32nd overall) in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft

Penguins’ defensive prospect Carl Sneep knows a thing or two about playing in big-game situations. He also knows what it takes to win championships.

Sneep won two NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey national titles – and played in the championship game three times – in four seasons with Boston College. Sneep finished his senior season and collegiate career on top by claiming college hockey’s highest prize in 2010 with a 5-0 Eagles’ victory over Wisconsin.

“It was a special season,” Sneep said. “I think I enjoyed winning it more this year as a senior than I did back in 2008. It’s just a good way to go out on top.”

The Eagles surprised a lot of critics who felt that last year’s squad was too green and inexperienced to make a run for the title.

“We were a very young team coming into that year,” Sneep said. “It was a little bit of a concern. But we knew we were very talented, and we knew that if we figured a few things out, got some chemistry going between the players, we could have something special. That’s something that happened right around after Christmas. We started figuring it out, things started clicking, we got on a roll and kept going.”

With his college career officially over, Sneep will make the transition to playing hockey on the professional level. For the first time in his career, Sneep will attend an NHL training camp with the goal of locking up a roster spot in Pittsburgh.

I wanted to be a pro hockey player my whole life. Now I have an opportunity to go out there and see what I can do. - Carl Sneep
“I’m really excited,” he said. “I wanted to be a pro hockey player my whole life. Now I have an opportunity to go out there and see what I can do.”

Sneep already has the strength to compete at the NHL level, standing at an imposing 6-foot-4, 212 pounds. The biggest transition for the Minnesota native will be fine tuning his game and finding a niche at the NHL level.

“I’m kind of an all-around defenseman,” Sneep said. “I’m working to find a specialty. I know that you kind of need that at the pro level. I think I have a solid base as a two-way defenseman. I’m excited to see how I fit into the pro-level game.”

Sneep’s quest for the pros begins with the current development camp. Though this is the fourth time Sneep has attended the camp, this will be the first year where he is eligible to attend training camp and fight for a job in the NHL.

And even if Sneep doesn’t make it to Pittsburgh this season, he will be assigned to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton where he will be surrounded by many of the faces he is now seeing at development camp.

“It’s a little bit different now that I signed with the organization,” he said. “This camp has stayed the same. It’s my fourth year here. It’s good to get in here and meet the guys. This year I’ll probably be playing with a lot of these guys. Which is nice to get to know them, get to meet the staff, get to be comfortable.”

Note: Sneep did have an up close look at another Penguins’ prospect – Philip Samulesson – Pittsburgh’s second-round pick in 2009 and son of former Penguin Ulf Samuelsson. Philip, who completed his freshman year at BC with a national title, was often paired alongside Sneep. The senior was impressed by the 18-year-old true freshman.

“He had a really good freshman year,” Sneep said. “I played with him a lot. We started a lot of games together. He’s a really solid defensive defenseman. He has a ton of potential. As a freshman he was going out there against the other team’s top line almost every night. He had a lot of success.”

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