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.

 

Tampa Bay Day 1 Draft Review

by Megan Sexton
on

For the first time in his three-year history with the Tampa Bay Lightning, General Manager Rick Dudley took the conventional route, selecting Russian Alexander Svitov third overall in the 2001 Entry Draft. In his previous two drafts with the organization, Dudley executed blockbuster draft day deals, shipping off the Lighting s first round choice in exchange for immediate help.

While Dudley entertained offers for this year’s selection, he was not intrigued enough to part with it.

Following the Draft Lottery, when Dudley learned he would have the 3rd overall pick and would likely miss out on Russian sensation Ilya Kovalchuk and CHL star Jassen Spezza, he alluded to a third player he considered equally talented. No names were ever mentioned, but it was assumed Svitov was the player Dudley coveted.

The Omsk, Russia, center is considered to be the most NHL ready player in the draft. His combination of size, skill and grit makes him a perfect fit with the Tampa Bay organization, and the perfect mold of the “Dudley player”.

Svitov is a big (6 3″, 198lbs), physical player who is a strong skater and has decent offensive ability. His biggest attribute is his defensive play. As Tampa Bay Lightning Color Analyst Bobby The Chief Taylor explained, “Defense is the biggest thing with this team. You can’t come in and not be defensively responsible. Svitov is great defensively. Offense can be learned with time.”

Svitov is expected to have an immediate impact on the struggling team. With Tampa’s face-off percentage looming barely above 40%, Svitov

Isles Move Another Prospect

by Jonathan Litterine
on
The Islanders moved another prospect on Friday when they sent
defenseman
Mathieu Biron packing to Tampa Bay. Also ‘Mad’ Mike Milbury sent the
teams
2nd round pick for tomorrow to Tampa. In return the Islanders recieved
defenseman Adrian Aucion and forward Alexander Kharitonov. Aucoin has
made a
name for himself the past few years in the NHL , mostly with Vancouver.

Aucoin is known to have a big time shot from the point and would fit
nicely
on the power play with either Kenny Jonsson or Roman Hamrlik. In 66
games
with the Lightning this past season Kharitonov tallied 7 goals and 15
assists
for 22 points. So even the day before the draft Mike Milbury has begun
dealing , this weekend is shaping up to be a big big weekend for the
Islanders.

Oilers Draft Review

by pbadmin
on
With several players on their list already taken the Oilers scouting staff felt the long term needs of the organization was to acquire a pure goal scorer or a reliable defenseman. Interestingly enough the first three rounds turned out almost exactly as planned. They did not get the goalie they coveted but all in all I felt it was a productive first day in adding dimensions to the farm system. The first three rounds went quickly for the Edmonton Oilers and the players selected are as follows.

1st Round 13th Overall
Ales Hemsky RW Sh: Right 6-0/170 Born: August13/1983

Not all the scouts agree with each other on the assessment of this Czech winger who played in the offensive minded QMJHL but no one deny his skills. At this pick it is exactly one the main needs the Oilers were trying to address, a scoring winger in the Miro Satan mold who can break open games on occasion.

He arguably one of this draft’s most electrifying players with the puck and one of the only reason he was not taken higher is his unwillingness to play in traffic so to speak. Not particularly muscular by any means but that seemed to be of little concern to the Oilers brass since they were looking for pure skill over brawn. Because of the teams current depth of young gritty forwards in the system it was apparently felt that this selection was necessary.

For the most part Ales will provide that elusive swift skating goal scorer whom can make opposing defenseman look foolish. Also noting are his amazing puck skills in the handling and passing departme Read more»

Philadelphia Flyers Wheel and Deal on the First Day of NHL Draft

by Bill Meltzer
on

On the first day of the 2001 NHL entry draft, the Philadelphia Flyers made a pair of trades, affecting both their first and second round selections.

The Flyers traded their first round pick (#23 overall) to the Ottawa Senators in exchange for three draft picks (#27 overall, #225 overall, and the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2nd round pick in 2002). The move caused some raised eyebrows, as the Flyers had at their disposal several of the most prominent defensemen in the draft. By moving down to #27, the Flyers were hoping that one of three defensemen they were eyeing (probably Tim Gleason , Lukas Krajicek and Jeff Woywitka ) would still be there when the 27th pick came up. Gleason and Krajicek were taken with the next two picks, but Woywitka was still there at #27.

Earlier in the afternoon, the Flyers dealt their second round pick (#56 overall) to Florida, in exhange for the rights to unsigned veteran Czech center Jiri Dopita. Dopita, who will turn 33 in December, has long been considered one of the biggest stars in European hockey and is a long-time fixture on the Czech national team.

Over the last nine years, Dopita has rebuffed numerous offers to come to the NHL. His rights were previously been held by Boston and the New York Islanders before they were dealt to Florida, and numerous other teams have inquired about his availability over the years. Until now, the answer was always no.

Why the change now? For one, he is close friends with his former Vsetin teammate Roman Cechmanek, another veteran Czech star who fin Read more»

Draft Day 1 Notes and Observations

by Mark Fischel
on
Heading into the morning right before the draft, the NCRC was abuzz with many rumors of trades and declarations among pontificating beat writers as to whom their team will be selecting with their picks.
Shane and myself arrived very early in the morning to scope out and claim our spot on the press table, right in the front row! Elation turned to displeasure when we found out our neighbors at the table were all really big men, reducing the space available for us to work. Sitting amongst radio media, Television media, and beat writers for every team, the early morning quickly turned into the rumor pit.
Amongst the rumors that started our day out and quickly got us out of early morning stupor, was the unconfirmed news of Alexie Yashin going to the Islanders, Michael Peca going to Florida for the #4, Doug Weight going to Chicago for Daze, McCarthy, and Mark Bell. Dominik Hasek was rumored to be going to 7 different teams, Valerie Bure going to Chicago and Florida, and finally, Eric Lindros for Federov and Aaron Ward. Of course, most of these never happened, which brings us to……

Official trades of Day 1 of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft

– Ottawa trades C Alexei Yashin to the NY Islanders for the Islanders 1st round pick (2nd overall: Jason Spezza), D Zdeno Chara, and RW Bill Muckalt.

– Toronto trades C Igor Korelev to Chicago for Philadelphia’s 3rd round pick (88th overall: C Nicolas Corbeil)

– Montreal trades it 4th round pick (104th overall) to Chicago for D Stephane Quintal.

– Calgary trades its 1st round pick (11th Read more»

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