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.

 

Brand New Rankings for NYR Prospects

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Evan, Edge and I took the time to make new rankings for the Rangers section here at Hockeysfuture. We each made our own Top 30 list, and then we combined the three together and came up with the final list, which was kind of the average of the three lists. Each player ranked by each of us got a certain number of points. A player ranked 1st on a list received 30 points, and a player ranked 30th received 1 point. I totaled up all the points and then ranked the players from most points to least, and that’s how I got these rankings. If you do not agree with any of the rankings, that’s fine. Since the list was put together in part by the three of us, there are some players on this list that we each feel should be higher or lower, but overall this is a solid list, and I’m sure people will disagree with it, however that is your opinion. Anyway, on to the rankings and I hope you enjoy them! (Note: the comments for the players were contributed to by the three of us)

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Luca Cereda will play in Russia

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on


Death by a Thousand Cuts for Killer?

This must be getting frustrating for Ottawa 67’s Coach Brian Kilrea. For the second year in a row, his first line center going into training camp, a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs, looks like he won’t be playing in the OHL this year. Last year, a heart murmur detected in Luca Cereda wiped him out for the entire schedule after heart surgery. Up until that time, he was a serious pre-season candidate to be the OHL’s Player of the Year. Enter Vadim Sozinov. After a slow start to his initial campaign with the 67’s, he became an integral part of Kilrea’s attack and the coach had gone so far as to predict a breakout year from the second year junior. He may well have that breakout year, but it looks like it won’t be in Ottawa, rather in Novokuznetsk of the Russian Elite League. Make no mistake, if the Khazakh forward makes the big squad in Russia, he’ll be playing in a league that is just a step below the NHL and above anything he’d find in the OHL or on ‘The Rock’. But he also might end up playing for their junior team as well. In any case, with this decision, Brian Kilrea has got to be wondering how long he’s going to have Jaroslav Sklenar in the Black, White, and Red, who, you guessed it, was another Leaf pick that he chose in the import draft.


The Door Swings Open for Tellqvist

With the placing of Glenn Healy on waivers and the signing of Swedish goaltender Mikael Tellqvist to a 3 year deal it looks like one of the SEL’s most dominant players in the last two sea Read more»

Canadiens have improved

by Chris Boucher
on
Every NHL team’s main goal is to improve from season to season. This improvement usually comes through the maturing of young players, off-season trades, and a “fiscally responsible” dip into the free-agent waters. André Savard’s recent moves definitely fall into the above categories. The Canadiens have improved since last year. They have added 48 goals to the roster (Perreault-24, Dackell-13, Juneau-10, Quintal-1), without giving up a single player from last season’s squad.

The Habs have increased their depth; bringing in a trio of forwards who could possibly step in as the team’s number two line. In fact, these players would have been the Canadiens’ number one line for most of last season; given the team’s injury problems.

Yanic Perreault joins the team, and instantly becomes the top goal scorer on the roster (using last season’s numbers). He was the league’s top face-off man, with a winning percentage of 63%. This aspect of his game will immediately improve the Habs’ special teams; a part of the game where puck-control is tantamount to success.

His salary of under $3 Million per season allows Savard to keep the team’s salary structure in order. This is particularly important when it is considered that Saku Koivu and Brian Savage are restricted free-agents. If we accept the fact that Koivu should be the highest paid skater on the team, then signing a free-agent to more than $3 Million would send Koivu’s salary through the roof. Player’s salaries are affected as much by the team’s fiscal structure as they are by the league’s.

Per Read more»

Timofei Shishkanov: Potential Super Star Without a Guide

by Eugene Belashchenko
on

Nashville Predators 2nd pick in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft (33rd Overall).

Talent Analysis:

Timofei Shishkanov’s 6’1 and 203lb frame is definitely more then sufficient for the rigors of the NHL. He is a very talented player. Timofei is an excellent skater, able to blow by his opponents with great moves and fast speed. He also possesses a solid shot, though he rarely uses it and does not really have a trademark shot that he is known for. Timofei Shishkanov is also a very good puck handler, able to work it in both zones of the ice.  

According to a Finnish observer from the U18 2001 World Junior Championships, Timofei had a comprable skill set to that of Kovalchuk, but “the difference between Kovalchuk and Shishkanov is the hunger, Kovalchuk wants all the time desperately [to] score goals, but Shishkanov sometimes floats around.” The observer added further that Kovalchuk shot the puck a lot more then Shishkanov, while Shishkanov seemed “meaner, more unpredictable and stronger then Kovalchuk”. The main area where Shishkanov loses to players of Kovlachuk’s class is in his hockey sense. He still has not developed that knack for making split second decisions on the ice that players of Kovalchuk’s caliber possess.  

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Norwegian`s Lorentzen and Thoresen Taken in Import Draft

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

The first to go was Peter Lorentzen by the Tri City Americans with the 13th overall pick. Lorentzen played for Norwegian Elite Team Stjernen-Fredrikstad the last season and looks to make a splash in the Canadian Junior System following such Norwegians as Anders Myrvold(Laval) and Bård Sorlie(Plymouth) among others. Lorentzen a left wing is NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.

The other Norwegian taken was center Patrick Thoresen of Storhamar by Moncton with the 30th pick overall. Thoresen is also looking to make a big splash in the CHL and will be NHL Draft Eligible in 2002.

Norway making a big splash in the Canadian Juniors. Keep an eye on these kids as they may prove to be the next generation NHLers.

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