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.

 

Wild Week in Review

by Chris Kitching
on

Monday, March 11 to Sunday, March 17

At the Deadline

The National Hockey League’s trade deadline will pass on Tuesday at 3:01
p.m. EST, not before putting a scare into the hearts of many players (and
their families) around the league.

“You wouldn’t be human if you didn’t think about it,” Wild defenseman Jason
Marshall told the Pioneer Press. “We all know it comes every year. It’s kind
of out of our control. We try to concentrate on playing the game.”

Marshall’s name has been included in several trade rumors, while goaltender
Jamie McLennan has had his name bounce around several times. McLennan has
been playing in the American Hockey League with the Houston Aeros all
season, and will be an unrestricted free agent come July. The chance of
finding a taker for McLennan is unlikely.

With only two years of existence in the NHL, the Wild could use help at
every position, unlike some of the top teams in the league, who are
well-padded in certain areas.

The addition of one or two experienced veterans will add some leadership and
much needed depth to the lineup, which is something Minnesota should seek
before the puck drops on the 2002-03 season.


By the Numbers

11 – Points Marian Gaborik has recorded in his last six games (nine
goals, two assists), powering the Wild to a 3-0-1-2 record in that span.

8 – Points the Wild have earned in their last five games, including
wins over St. Louis, Dallas and Columbus, a tie with Phoenix and an overtime
loss to Ottawa.

Read more»

2004 prospect Lubomir Stach – skill over size

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Size is often a highly coveted asset when measuring a player’s chances on a success at the
NHL Entry Draft. Undersized players, especially defensemen, are often labeled with ‘too small
to succeed’ and other prejuidices. It is really almost impossible for a player that is
too small to handle the physical style of the NHL, where he faces lots of big, bruising forwards.
That’s also the reason why Swedish 1982 born junior star Magnus Hedlund was never picked in
a NHL Entry Draft. He has everything except size, Hedlund is just 5’8”. Let’s choose another
example. New Jersey Devils’ blueliner Brian Rafalski had to sign with the Devils as a free
agent, he also wasn’t selected in the draft. After spending years in Finland he opened the
eyes of many when he showed that also a defenseman who doesn’t posess prototypical NHL
size can compete well at this highest level. The next one who could follow his example is
Vsetin’s 1986 born smallish star, Lubomir Stach.

Born in Vsetin, Czech Republic, Lubomir started playing hockey there when the city was just
known for regional hockey and not for being the mighty perennial Extraleague champion. The
main force which brought him to the game was his dad, even if he played soccer and not hockey.
But instead of bringing his son to the ball, he brought him to the ice, skates, stick and puck.
Lubomir seemed to like the game very much and when he started his career at 6, he felt very
comfortable on the ice. He has a talent for sports and hockey suited him well. Lubomir was
among the best skaters on the team soon and also showed Read more»

The Cub Report: North American Bruins Prospects

by Shane Walsh
on

Welcome to the first installment of the Cub report, a weekly
look at the North American prospects of the Boston Bruins. In our first
installment, we’re going around the leagues to catch up on the young Bruin cubs.

WHL

Jiri Jakes has been hot as
of late. In the last 5 games, the rugged Czech winger has tallied 3 goals, 2
assists, and 14 penalty minutes. The Brandon Wheat Kings are currently tied with the Regina Pats for first place in the WHL’s eastern division heading into the final week of the regular season.

It looks as though the injury bug
has once again bitten Seattle Thunderbird winger Darren McLachlan. The rugged forward appears to be out for the remainder of the season with a
shoulder injury. The second last place Thunderbirds will oppose either the Portland Winter Hawks or Spokane Chiefs in a best-of-seven first round series in the WHL playoffs.

Shaone Morrisonn ended the Kamloops Blazers 0-29 Power play drought,scoring on a 5-on-3 opportunity against the Moose Jaw Warriors. Morrisonn,who
missed action with a concussion after taking a stiff check from Tri-City RW
Scott Kelman back in January, was selected to play in the WHL all-star game but
was replaced by Seattle Thunderbird rearguard Matt Spiller.

Blazers tough guy Colton Orr has yet to return to action after breaking his hand during his first game of the season. The Blazers have lost
four straight games for the first time this season.

NCAA

University of Denver winger Greg Barber e Read more»

The CHL Season is Coming to an End

by League Press Release
on

LAST FULL WEEKEND OF CHL REGULAR SEASON, PLAYOFFS START NEXT WEEK

The 2002 Canadian Hockey League regular season wraps up in the next few
days, with a full slate of games as the CHL playoffs draw near.

Playoff berths are still up for grabs in all three leagues as the Ontario
Hockey League ends regular season play Sunday, while the Quebec Major Junior
Hockey League and the Western Hockey League end their regular season
schedules on Tuesday.

Playoff action in all three leagues will begin late next week. The OHL is
scheduled to start March 21 while the WHL and the QMJHL will begin first
round games the next night. You can follow all of the playoff races at the
official website of the CHL, www.chl.ca.

Listed below are the full schedules of all remaining games in the three
leagues as we head into the final few days of the regular season. On Monday
the final Bank of Montreal MasterCard CHL Top 10 ranking will be announced,
as there will be just eight CHL games slated for Tuesday night and none on
Monday.

The three league champions will join the host Guelph Storm at the 2002
MasterCard Memorial Cup, May 18-26, 2002, at the Guelph Sports and
Entertainment Centre. If Guelph wins the OHL title, then the OHL finalists
will also participate to ensure a four-team tournament.

Remember to follow all of the action leading up to the 2002 MasterCard
Memorial Cup at the official website of the CHL, www.chl.ca, with a new
MasterCard Memorial Cup section starting next week.


WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

Here is the remainder of the Read more»

Chat with USA Hockey Asst. Coach Lou Vairo

by HF Staff
on

Coming on Tuesday, March 19th, Hockey’s Future is proud to be part of a hosted chat with USA Hockey Asst. Coach Lou Vairo. To take part in this free chat, please follow the banner on the top of Hockey’s Future.

The chat will take place at noon Easter time, and will be moderated by the former NHL Sr. VP of Corporate Communications Arthur Pincus.

To take part, you will need speakers with your computer and any questions you may have. This is an exciting opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at the Olympics in Salt Lake City.

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