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.

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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.

 

2016 NHL Draft: Matthews, Laine finish atop final ISS rankings

by ISS
on
2016 NHL Draft - Auston Matthews - USA; Patrik Laine - Finland

Photo: Forwards Auston Matthews of the ZSC Lions and Patrik Laine of Tappara Tampere are the top two prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft according to ISS Hockey (courtesy of John Crouch/Icon Sportswire and Melanie Duchene/EQ Images/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

The first round of the 2016 NHL Draft is now just a couple of days away, with the remainder of the draft taking place on Saturday at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, NY.

Earlier this month, ISS Hockey released their final top 30 for this year’s draft, along with their 2016 draft guide. The order in June barely changed from the list presented in May, but there was some minor shuffling within the top 10. Read more»

2016 NHL Draft: Hockey’s Future Staff Mock Draft

by HF Staff
on
2016 NHL Draft Top Prospects - Pierre-Luc Dubois, Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, and Alexander Nylander

Photo: Five top prospects for the 2016 NHL Draft were the guests of the NHL during the Stanley Cup Final, with forwards (L-R) Pierre-Luc Dubois, Auston Matthews, Matthew Tkachuk, Patrik Laine, and Alexander Nylander taking Game Four in San Jose (courtesy of Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

 

 

While the 2016 NHL Draft lacks some of the drama that was provided leading up to last year’s draft, when Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel vied for the right to go first overall, there is nevertheless some very good talent to be had at the top of this year’s event. And even beyond the top 5, NHL clubs drafting in the first round should be able to land some good talent that will almost certainly suit up for NHL action in the not too distant future. Read more»

2016 NHL Draft Preview: A few Czech selection possibilities, but Slovakia lacks homegrown prospects

by Derek O'Brien
on
Ondrej Najman - Czech Republic - 2015 World Junior A Challenge

Photo: Dukla Jihlava forward and 2016 prospect Ondrej Najman competed for the Czech Republic in international play in 2015-16, performing well at both the World Junior A Challenge and the U18 World Championship (courtesy of Tim Bates/OJHL Images)

 

 

As has been the case for a number of years, very few of the top NHL Draft prospects from the Czech Republic and Slovakia play at home nowadays. The top Czechs for this year’s draft play in North America, but there will be at least one homegrown talent who is sure to be drafted, along with a handful of probable late-rounders. Read more»

2016 NHL Draft Preview: Puljujarvi, Laine the cream of a solid Finland crop

by Tony Piscotta
on
Jesse Puljujarvi - Team Finland - 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and 2016 prospect Jesse Puljujarvi earned MVP honors at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship while playing alongside Sebastian Aho and Patrik Laine for Finland’s gold medal squad (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

If Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi were the only players coming out of Finland this year, the 2016 NHL Draft would still be a big one for Suomi fans. Much like the Tyler vs. Taylor theme of the 2010 NHL Draft — when media sources tried to determine whether current Dallas Star Tyler Seguin or Edmonton’s Taylor Hall would be the top overall selection — Puljujarvi and Laine have been in the media spotlight all season and are surefire first-round picks. But those two are just part of what is expected to be a large class of Finnish players taken in the 2016 NHL Draft. Read more»

2016 NHL Draft Preview: Bean heads WHL group that could have light first round presence

by Glen Erickson
on
Jake Bean - Calgary Hitmen

Photo: Calgary Hitmen defenseman and 2016 prospect Jake Bean scored the most goals of any WHL defender in the 2015-16 season, netting 24 goals in the regular season (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

 

For the second straight year, the concept of generational talent will emerge as the key talking point at the NHL Draft.

By the time the festivities get underway in Buffalo next weekend, the Auston Matthews watch will have been percolating since the day after Connor McDavid was selected first overall a year ago. Expect a large contingent of Toronto Maple Leafs fans to attend the First Niagara Center (soon to be KeyBank Center) to welcome Matthews to the NHL. Read more»

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