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Snetsinger excels for Trenton Devils

Friday, 03.27.2009 / 2:34 PM / Features
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Snetsinger excels for Trenton Devils
An injury and demotion to Trenton might have been the best thing to happen to Brad Snetsinger.
NHL Staff Writer

A slow start and an injury may very well have been two of the best things to ever happen to Brad Snetsinger.

After a solid training camp, the 21-year-old left wing was limited to just eight games with the Lowell Devils in the American Hockey League. Due to a crowded roster, Devils brass decided to send Snetsinger to ECHL Trenton.

In hindsight, it proved to be the best thing for him. In 43 games at the Double-A level, Snetsinger has 19 goals, 23 assists and a plus-2 rating.

"I get a lot of ice down here," Snetsinger told "I'm playing a lot and I play in a lot of different situations. We've got a great coaching staff down here and a lot of great players that make it fun to play, but it's also a great learning experience."

Under Trenton coach Rick Kowalsky, Snetsinger has been provided with an opportunity to evolve into a solid two-way forward. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder is used in all situations with the T-Devils and his play has helped Trenton remain right in the thick of things in the incredibly tight North Division.

"Lowell had a lot of bodies," Kowalsky explained. "He had quite a bit of time off with an injury and as a result, he was in and out of the lineup and used sparingly. I think it was the right move getting him down here. I really believe that it's going to be up to Snets, whether or not how much success he has. I think he has that potential, it's just a matter of whether or not he wants to push the pace every night. He's a very smart player."

Given the amount of success Snetsinger enjoyed during his junior career, it really shouldn't come as a surprise to see him contributing at the pro level. In his final three years with the Windsor Spitfires of the Ontario Hockey League, Snetsinger's numbers improved with each passing season. He went from 44 points in 2005-06 to 89 (37 goals, 52 assists) in 2007-08, when he had the opportunity to skate alongside New York Islanders center Josh Bailey.

"When Bob Boughner came in and took over the team, they did a great job with me," Snetsinger said. "I think that was the biggest step there. I had a lot of good players to play with, like Josh Bailey. I think the coaching staff put confidence in me and pushed me pretty hard and worked with me a lot."

Bailey made the jump from the OHL to the NHL in just one season after being selected ninth by the Isles in the 2008 Entry Draft. Snetsinger admits he still can't believe how quickly Bailey was able to reach the sport's top level.

"It's pretty amazing that just last year I was playing with him, and now he's up in the NHL," Snetsinger said of Bailey. "He's doing good this year and he deserves it, for sure."

Snetsinger is on an entirely different journey. An undrafted forward from Ajax, Ontario, Snetsinger is trying to prove to Devils brass that he is a legitimate prospect. Fortunately, Trenton has provided him with a place to do just that. He certainly has left his coach impressed.

"From a skill standpoint, he's an elite guy at this level," Kowalsky said. "The way he sees the ice, he's a very cerebral player. He can make plays in traffic. He just has to learn to play at the American League pace."

Given the amount of youth in New Jersey's capital city -- 12 players on the roster are 23 years of age or younger -- the transition went rather smoothly for Snetsinger. It also helped that upon his arrival, Snetsinger saw plenty of familiar faces.

"It is a young team," Snetsinger said. "I knew a few of the guys having played against them in the OHL, and a couple of the guys were in camp in Lowell. It's fun down here. They keep it pretty relaxed, but it's also good experience down here. They treat you just like they would in New Jersey or Lowell. It's always nice to play down here."

With another season just six months away, Snetsinger is eager to prove that he can be a full-time player in the AHL. While his first stint didn't go as planned, at least he knows what to expect.

"It was a great experience," Snetsinger said of his time in Lowell. "I didn't do as well as I wished up there, but now I know what I have to do for the future and what it takes to play up there. I'm going to work hard during the summer, and hopefully that's where I end up. The game's so much faster at that level. That's something I've got to put my time into."

Like most players at the ECHL level, skating is the biggest obstacle for Snetsinger. But Kowalsky is confident his winger has what it takes to be a full-time player in the AHL.

"’Snets’ isn't a bad skater, but he has to work for his ice," Kowalsky said. "I think it was a bit of adjustment for him even when he came down to this level. At times, he likes to slow things down and he has the ability to do that. He certainly has the potential to have success and move on."

Contact Brian Compton at:




1 TBL 50 31 15 4 163 132 66
2 MTL 47 31 13 3 127 108 65
3 NYI 48 32 15 1 157 135 65
4 DET 49 28 12 9 145 128 65
5 PIT 48 27 13 8 143 124 62
6 WSH 48 25 14 9 144 124 59
7 BOS 49 26 16 7 131 123 59
8 NYR 46 27 15 4 135 111 58
9 FLA 46 21 15 10 114 129 52
10 PHI 50 21 22 7 139 151 49
11 TOR 50 22 24 4 144 155 48
12 OTT 47 19 19 9 129 134 47
13 CBJ 47 21 23 3 119 148 45
14 NJD 48 18 22 8 109 135 44
15 CAR 47 17 25 5 102 122 39
16 BUF 49 14 32 3 92 174 31


A. Henrique 41 10 16 -2 26
J. Jagr 44 9 16 -11 25
M. Cammalleri 36 15 6 -3 21
P. Elias 38 6 15 -13 21
M. Zidlicky 48 4 16 -8 20
M. Ryder 42 6 12 -2 18
T. Zajac 40 8 8 -6 16
S. Gomez 24 4 12 -6 16
S. Bernier 33 6 7 1 13
M. Havlat 30 5 8 -9 13
C. Schneider 17 19 4 .921 2.37
K. Kinkaid 1 3 3 .913 2.54