Schnabel is a product of Slavia Praha in the Czech league. After several seasons in North America, including 22 NHL games for the Nashville Predators, Schnabel returned to Europe to represent first his hometown team in Prague and then HIFK in the FinnishSM-liiga. In January 2007 Schnabel's contract with HIFK was terminated upon arrival of Billy Tibbetts, as the SM-liiga only allows a team to dress four foreign-born players per game, and Tibbets was HIFK's fifth foreign player. Schnabel was subsequently signed by Jokerit of the same league. He played for HC Mlada Boleslav on loan from HC Rabat Kladno.