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.

 

New York Rangers prospects in Europe, NCAA improve significantly

by David Hahn
on
Photo: Cristoval Nieves' 28 points in 35 games were an improvement over last season's effort. (Courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

Photo: Cristoval Nieves’ 28 points in 35 games were an improvement over last season’s effort. (Courtesy of Dave Reginek/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers prospect pool took a bit of a hit this season, but despite the trades and graduations within the system, there are still solid prospects in Europe and the NCAA. Read more»

Detroit Red Wings prospect awards a testament to team depth

by Chris Roberts
on
Photo: Detroit prospect Landon Ferraro showed a nose for the net during the NHL playoffs despite being held scoreless (courtesy of Steven King/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Detroit prospect Landon Ferraro showed a nose for the net during the NHL playoffs despite being held scoreless (courtesy of Steven King/Icon Sportswire)

Hockey’s Future hands out these awards every season to players who stood out during the course of the season. Several Detroit Red Wings prospects had banner seasons throughout junior, the NCAA and the AHL; others, meanwhile, earned opportunities in Detroit, such as rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek, Teemu Pulkkinen and a group of up-and-coming defensemen.

While no Wings prospects made it to the NCAA Frozen Four, a strong group of prospects had good showings in the CHL playoffs: players like Joe Hicketts, Dominic Turgeon and Tyler Bertuzzi.

Read more»

Winnipeg Jets prospect awards feature formidable reinforcements

by Patrick Allen
on
Connor Hellebuyck - Winnipeg Jets

Photo: Winnipeg Jets prospect Connor Hellebuyck headlines a top-notch group of goaltending prospects (courtesy of Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire)

The Winnipeg Jets defied the odds this season with their never say die mentality, overcoming injury and hardship on their way to edging out the defending Stanley Cup Champions and clinching the franchise’s first playoff appearance since its return to Winnipeg. The return of playoff hockey after its nearly 20 year hiatus from Winnipeg has reignited the burning passion of the fan base, making one thing clear moving forward: simply making the playoffs is not enough anymore.

Read more»

The Top Five single-game performances by NHL prospects in 2014-15

by Craig Fischer
on
Cal Petersen - All-American Prospects Game

Photo: University of Notre Dame goaltender and Buffalo Sabres prospect Cal Petersen, shown here at the 2012 All-American Prospects Game, turned in the top goaltending prospect performance for the 2014-15 season (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

A season is not made with one game, but sometimes, one game can define a season, and it can even change the way you think about a prospect. Read more»

Murray and Pouliot among several Pittsburgh Penguins prospects to have big 2014-15 seasons

by Ian Altenbaugh
on
Photo: Derek Pouliot split his season between Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, scoring 7 points in 34 games with the big club. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: Derek Pouliot split his season between Pittsburgh and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, scoring 7 points in 34 games with the big club. (Courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

Several prospects for the Pittsburgh Penguins had breakout seasons. The most notable was defensive prospect Derrick Pouliot, who established early on that he was capable of handling steady NHL playing time. However, rookie goaltender Matt Murray came in a close second, as he broke several AHL records and looks poised to one day take over the goaltending reins in Pittsburgh. Read more»

Related Articles