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.

 

Coyotes Preseason Wrap-up

by Russell Brooks
on

Well now that the final roster has been announced, lets get down to business. Making the Cut for opening night will be Kris Kolanos, Martin Grenier, Tyler Bouck, Daniel Briere, and Jean-Guy Trudel. Not making the cut and being reassigned to Springfield, the Coyotes top minor league affiliate of the AHL, were David Cullen and Goran Bezina. Also Martin Podelsak was reassigned to his junior team, the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL.

Goran Bezina was assigned to Springfield after an amazing camp that opened the eyes of not only Bob Francis, but also the whole front office of the Coyotes. When the Coyotes defensemen did a drill during the preseason they were told to shoot as many pucks from the point as they can. At the end of the drill, he was the only one standing and laughing. We should see either him or Kirill Safronov during the season as one of the call-ups.

Another shine at camp was Martin Grenier who looks he may be filling the role of unrestricted free agent, Louie DeBrusk and become the enforcer on this team. Look for him to be standing up for every one of the defensemen let alone the forwards. He led the NHL alone in PIM for the preseason and I assume he will be more disciplined going into the regular season.

Daniel Briere will finally get his shot in the NHL full-time (hopefully). He finished up the preseason tied for the most points in the league (12). He also led the league in assists and Bob Francis has said he will be one of the top centers come Thursday, the Coyotes first game. The Coyotes will look to him to put out the same effort and enth Read more»

Islanders trim to 24

by Bill Bennett
on

Here is a list from the teams website of players cut today:

Goaltenders (4): Rick DiPietro, Dusan Salficky, David St. Germain, Stephen Valiquette

Defensemen (6): Chris Armstrong, Ray Giroux, Marko Kiprusoff, Evgeny Korolev, Branislav Mezei, Ray Schultz

Forwards (10): Marco Charpentier, Ben Guite, Trent Hunter, Juraj Kolnik, Petr Mika, Justin Mapletoft, Dave Roche, Jason Podollan, Marko Tuomainen, Raffi Torres

Forward David Nemirovsky was released. Bridgeport signees Graham Belak and Bob Lachance remain Sound Tigers property.

What’s next ?

Today moves leave the Islanders with a few decisions to make, and some of them could be the end of the line for a few players. Alan Hahn in Newsday, says the teams payroll is over budget so some players could be bought out of contracts if they are not traded with the Isles taking on part of the salaries.Â

Jason Krog-The former Hobey Baker Winner was on the teams waiver list Friday and went unclaimed. Krog has not been in the teams final exhibition games and was not among the cuts today. If he were in the Isles plans he would have been in the lineup, but with several smaller players on the Isles he seems to be the odd-man out of the organization.

 His new two-year contract may be what kept him from being claimed Friday. Going by the last two years the numbers are there for Krog, despite the Isles affiliate problems. His scoring background in College should make him someone the Isles wanted to protect because he has never really gotten a real look on Read more»

Norfolk Admirals Report

by Brad Johnson
on

Admirals Slim Roster down to 29 skaters

The Admirals have announced that defenseman Chris Bogas has been assigned to Jackson (ECHL) while forwards Olivier Morin and David Thibeault have been assigned to Columbus (ECHL). Norfolk released several players as well, including forwards Ryan Dolder, Chris Pittman, Troy Lake, Jason Stewart, Brad Both, Bret DeCecco, Nick Lent, Kelly Smart and Mark Scott. Also released by the club were defensemen Arved Rekis, Dion Lassu, Mike Josefowicz and Jaroslav Kerestes. Troy Lake and Bret DeCecco are headed back to Roanoke (ECHL) as for the others released only time will tell where they find themselves. One would assume that roster moves lock in a roster spot for former ECHL Admirals Rick Kowalsky and Bobby Russell but no assumptions will be made because afterall hockey can still be a brutal business.

Chicago Blackhawks Aquire Shawn Thornton’s NHL Rights Read more»

Pittsburgh Penguins Junior Prospect Update

by Erik Johnson
on


Forwards

Colby Armstrong, RW Red Deer (WHL)


Week: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 13 PIM
Season: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 13 PIM


Shane Endicott, C Seattle (WHL)

Week: DNP – With NHL Penguins
Season: 0 games


Steven Crampton, RW Moose Jaw (WHL)

Week: DNP – Injured
Season: 0 games


Michel Ouellet, RW Rimouski (QMJHL)

Week: 4 games, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, 4 PIM
Season: 4 games, 6 goals, 4 assists, 10 points, 4 PIM


Defensemen

Drew Fata, D Toronto St Mike’s (OHL)


Week: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 9 PIM
Season: 4 games, 0 goals, 2 assists, 2 points, 9 PIM


Alexandre Rouleau, D Val d’Or (QMJHL)

Week: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 10 PIM
Season: 6 games, 0 goals, 3 assists, 3 points, 10 PIM


Goalies

Peter Hamerlik, G Kingston (OHL)


Week: 3 games, 119 min, 10 GA, 5.04 GAA, .867 SvPct
Season: 3 games, 119 min, 10 GA, 5.04 GAA, .867 SvPct


Brandon Crawford-West, G Texas (NAHL)

Week: 5 games, 262:36 min, 17 GA, 3.88 GAA, .864 SvPct Read more»

Young Players Looking to Impress at NHL Level

by Mike Castor
on

This year’s Philadelphia Flyers Camp was the most competitive camp in the last 15 years. The youth shined in much of camp. The Flyers have a nice mix of toughness and skill in their prospects. Many of the veterans are finding themselves pushed for their jobs by younger players– if not right away, in the very near future.

There are not many open spots on the roster open as we speak, but it seems the young kids want to break into them, and a few have succeeded in doing so. The one thing that all the kids have shown is a willingness to compete and to learn how to play the game at the NHL level.

Even now that the season is about to start, Bill Barber will have many decisions to make. There are several ongoing roster battles. The battle for the 2nd and 3rd line wingers is very heated. The battle for the team’s enforcer is also a raging battle that will go on beyond the start of the season.

There is a great feel of anticipation to start the season. All of the players seem to enjoy working with Bill Barber and his coaching staff (Mike Stothers and E.J. McGuire). The players acquired in the off-season seem to be fitting in well.

A look follows at some of the younger players who have been fighting to make a name for themselves.

Pavel Brendl

Brendl has arguably been the big story at camp. The puck just seems to follow this kid and he has the hands of a surgeon. Even his much-maligned attitude seems vastly improved– at least for now. Brendl stated that he is willing to work on any part of his game that the staff indicates is Read more»

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