Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Jimmy Snuggerud Scouting Report.
The United States National Team Development Program had an extremely deep group of forwards on the Under-18 team this year. Chaska, Minnesota native Jimmy Snuggerud is part of that group. The winger scored 24 goals and 39 assists for 63 points in 58 games for the Under-18 squad, playing in the USHL and in exhibition games against NCAA competition. He also played for the American team at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. Snuggerud scored three goals and four assists for seven points in six tournament games. He helped the American team to a silver medal.
In 2020-21 Snuggerud played for the NTDP Under-17 team. He scored 15 goals and 17 assists for 32 points in 45 games. In 2019-20, Snuggerud captained Team USA at the Youth Olympic Games, winning a silver medal. He scored two assists in four games.
Next season Snuggerud is committed to playing for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. Should he change his mind and go the CHL route, his rights are owned by the Portland Winterhawks. His father Dave Snuggerud played for Team USA at the 1988 Olympics. He also played in the NHL for the Buffalo Sabres, San Jose Sharks and Philadelphia Flyers.
Jimmy Snuggerud Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born June 1st, 2004 — Chaska, Minnesota
Height 6’2″ — Weight 185 lbs [187 cm/84 kg]
Snuggerud’s skating was once a real liability but has improved over the last year. While it still is not a strength, it is no longer a liability. Snuggerud improved his knee and ankle bends, lengthening and strengthening his stride. This has led to better top-end speed. His first few steps and acceleration are average and can continue to improve but he’s already made great progress. His agility and edgework can still use a bit more work. Improved crossovers and stronger edges would allow Snuggerud to make tighter turns and be more dangerous when weaving through traffic. He has good size and strength though. Snuggerud shows the balance and power to win battles on the boards and in front of the net.
Snuggerud is a pure sniper. He finds soft spots in the defence and gets himself open to take a pass. When the pass comes, he loves to fire a one-timer on the net. His shot is powerful and accurate. He also has the ability to adjust to a pass that isn’t quite on the mark, shifting his feet and still getting a powerful shot off. Snuggerud also has a strong and accurate wrist shot. His quick release allows him to fool goalies and score in transition or when sneaking in on the power play. Snuggerud uses his size and strength to get to the dirty areas of the ice. He can also score goals in tight with his quick hands, and ability to pounce on rebounds and get deflections. Even if he can’t get a stick on the puck, he does an effective job creating havoc and screening goalies.
Snuggerud is also a good passer. He has a good hockey IQ, reading the play and moving the puck smartly. He finds the open man and makes the smart pass to maintain possession in the cycle game. Snuggerud can also pass through tight areas or saucer a puck over an opponent’s stick to create a scoring chance for a teammate. His ability to win battles on the boards also helps him to create scoring chances in the offensive zone. Snuggerud will need to improve his puck handling though. His lack of high-end speed and lateral movement creates an issue here. He is not great at carrying the puck through the neutral zone and generating zone entries. Instead, Snuggerud looks to move the puck to a teammate and then drive to an open area.
Snuggerud is willing to work hard in the defensive end. He throws hits and supports the defence on the boards when he gets the opportunity. However, he is more likely to stay high and cover the point as his lack of top speed means that he is usually the second or third forward back in the zone. Still, he is willing to put the effort in. He reads the play well and uses his stick to cut down passing lanes. Snuggerud is also willing to use his body to block shots. When a turnover is created, he keeps his head up and makes a smart first pass to start the transition game.
Projection and Comparison
Snuggerud has high-end offensive skills and a good work ethic. He has the potential to be a top-six winger and be used in all situations. While his skating has really improved over the last year, there is still a bit more work to do. Some work with a good skating coach will be necessary over the next couple of years. Playing a lighter schedule in the NCAA should give him the opportunity to work on those aspects of his game. If Snuggerud continues to develop this aspect of his game, the team that drafts him could have a steal. However, there is some risk too. If his skating does not continue to improve his NHL impact might be limited. Snuggerud’s game is reminiscent of Brandon Saad. This is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Jimmy Snuggerud that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Minnesota freshman sensation Jimmy Snuggerud only scores beautiful goals. pic.twitter.com/E8kw0Sw3jr
— Wagon Hockey (@WagonHockey) January 5, 2020
— Wagon Hockey (@WagonHockey) January 14, 2020
— Steven Ellis (@SEllisHockey) April 24, 2022
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) January 4, 2022
The block ✅
The speed ✅
The snipe ✅
— USA Hockey’s NTDP (@USAHockeyNTDP) December 5, 2021
Jimmy Snuggerud gets Team Blue on the board at the All-American Prospects Game.
Assists to Cutter Gauthier and Rutger McGroarty.
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) January 17, 2022
Here is one of Jimmy Snuggerud's two goals in the CC three goal shift. pic.twitter.com/gY0dwJFA5J
— YHH (@YouthHockeyHub) November 12, 2017
Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.
Jimmy Snuggerud Scouting Report Main Photo:
2022 NHL DRAFT REPORT: USA – Jimmy Snuggerud, RW, NDTP
One of the most underrated players in the U.S. Development Program this year
— McKeen’s Hockey (@mckeenshockey) February 28, 2022