Michael Neal

Hometown:

Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1989-04-03

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2007

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2007

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

5th round (149th overall), 2007

Weight:

187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

The younger brother of Stars prospect James Neal, Michael Neal possesses some of the same attributes as his older brother.

2006-07: He did not post great numbers in his second OHL season, scoring only four goals on his way to eight points in 52 games played. Part of the lack of production by Neal is a result of playing on a very talented and deep Belleville Bulls team.

2007-08: Missed the entire regular season with a knee injury.  Returned for the playoffs, but went pointless in seven games.

2008-09: Neal split time between the Belleville Bulls(OHL) and Sarnia Sting(OHL). He went pointless in 3 games with the Bulls, but scored 9 goals and added 12 assists in 63 games with Sarnia.

2009-10: Neal turned pro, splitting time with the Idaho Steelheads(ECHL) and Texas Stars(AHL). In 6 games with the Stars, Neal went pointless. In 57 games with Idaho, Neal scored 5 goals and added 10 assists.

2010-11: For the second straight season, Neal spent most of his time in the ECHL.  He tied his previous year’s total of 15 points in 2010-11.  He did notch his first career AHL point during his 16 games in the AHL – totaling three goals in all.  He was held scoreless in eight ECHL postseason games.

 

Talent Analysis

Neal is a physically imposing forward like his older brother, James.  His skating is above average for a player his size and he does his best work along the boards.  Plays a clean and fairly industrious game.  Craves physical play.  Has a tremendous off-ice work ethic and keeps himself in tiptop shape.  Doesn’t possess any sort of mesmerizing talent and is still very raw.  Lost a crucial year of development due to a knee injury that sidelined him for an entire season.  Will have to overcome a lot to be considered a legitimate NHL prospect.  Needs to find a niche and become exceptional at it in order to become a valuable asset to his team.

 

Future

Appears to be a fringe AHL player at this point and may spend another year in the ECHL while competing for AHL call-ups.

 

2014 U18 WJC Preview: Canada looking for first gold repeat at U18

by Jason Menard
on

Brayden Point - Team Orr

Photo: Moose Jaw Warriors forward and 2014 prospect Brayden Point, shown here playing in the 2014 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game, could be an important offensive contributor for Canada at the 2014 U18 World Championship (courtesy of Derek Leung/Getty Images)

The defending IIHF Under-18 World Championship, gold-medal-winning Team Canada has arrived in Finland ready to defend its title with a squad that’s laden with international experience and elite talent.

Read more»

2014 U18 WJC Preview: Host Finland looking to improve on 2013 bronze finish

by Tony Piscotta
on

Kasperi Kapanen - Team Finland

Photo: KalPa Kuopio forward and 2014 prospect Kasperi Kapanen, shown here playing at the 2013 U18 World Championship, will play for host Finland at the 2014 edition of this tournament (courtesy of ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP/Getty Images)

Finland, the host team for the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, finished fifth in the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament last summer despite winning three of the four games it played. With a number of key additions — particularly on defense — the U18 team competing in Imatra and Laapenranta should be stronger than the team that skated in Piestany, Slovakia.

Read more»

Vancouver Canucks have small group of defensemen and wingers developing in NCAA and Europe

by Larenzo Jensen
on

Ben Hutton - Maine Black Bears

Photo: Maine defenseman Ben Hutton played a strong sophomore season and led the entire team with 15 goals in 2013-14 (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

The recent parting of ways between the Vancouver Canucks and former President and General Manager Mike Gillis will no doubt have implications for their prospects, current and future.

Read more»

2014 U18 WJC Preview: Russia roster features several players with North American experience

by Alessandro Seren Rosso
on

Aleksandar Mikulovich - Niagara IceDogs

Photo: Niagara IceDogs defenseman and 2014 prospect Aleksandar Mikulovich is one of several players on Russia’s U18 roster that competed in North America during the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)

After last year's disappointing results, a fourth place finish on home soil, Team Russia will present itself at the U18 World Championship with a good roster that includes many players competing in Canada's major junior leagues. The roster also features a good selection of players playing in Russia, some of them with KHL experience.

Read more»

Boston Bruins have several prominent prospects playing in NCAA and Europe

by Richard Murray
on

Zane Gothberg - Boston Bruins

Photo: Goaltender Zane Gothberg had a breakout year with North Dakota, posting a 20-10-3 record en route to an appearance in the 2014 Frozen Four. Gothberg was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Richard T. Gagnon/Getty Images)

The Boston Bruins have most of their prime prospects playing at the professional level in North America, but there are still a few prominent names that are currently playing in Europe or at the collegiate level.

Read more»