Michael Neal


Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (149th overall), 2007


187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B


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.



Appears to be a fringe AHL player at this point and may spend another year in the ECHL while competing for AHL call-ups.


It’s Not All Bad for the Kings

by Tony Calfo

The Kings have had their problems in the early part of this NHL campaign, but there is reason for optimism. Not only have the Kings acquired a young centerman to build around in Jason Allison, the minor league system that was once considered the NHL’s worst is now showcasing some of the best talent in hockey.

The Kings have stocked up on talented forwards, and are now faced with the pleasant situation of having several players battle for the title of “top prospect”. Alexander Frolov is having a monster year, showcasing every phase of an NHL-type game. In the last ten days he has scored a goal on a penalty shot and added an assist to get the #1 star in the Soviet Wings Dec. 1 game and then garnered the #1 star without scoring a point- his defense earned him that recognition. Frolov is still a boy and has collected 14 goals already- he seems to be developing a flawless game on both ends of the ice.

The Kings also have three players invited to Canada’s WJC tryout camp- Jared Aulin, Mike Cammelleri and Yanick Lehoux. All three players are having solid seasons, as Aulin and Lehoux are among the scoring leaders in their leagues and Cammelleri continues to turn heads at Michigan.

The Kings have two goalies having solid seasons overseas- Cristobel Huet has 23 wins and Alexey Volkov seems to be re-establishing his skills in Russia.

Along with Volkov, two other players seem to be returning to form after struggling last year. Jason Crain has rebounded this season to post 2 goals and 4 assists in 14 games for the #12 Buckeyes. Perhaps best of all, Crain i Read more»

Kolanos Named November Rookie of the Month

by Russell Brooks

Krys Kolanos wins Rookie of the Month

Calder Candidate Krys Kolanos has been named the NHL Rookie of the Month for November. Krys posted nine points (five goals, four assists) in 14 games, including a four-game scoring streak, and led all rookies with a plus/minus rating of +7. The 20-year old Kolanos has posted 13 points (eight goals, five assists) in 26 games to rank among the NHL’s top scoring rookies in goals (fourth) and points (fifth) and leads all rookies with four game-winning goals and a plus/minus rating of +9.

In winning Rookie Honors for November, Kolanos edged Atlanta Thrashers Dany Heatley, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Minnesota Wild Pascal Dupuis to capture the award.

Kolanos has been playing with a total of 6 different line mates this season so far and his seen an average of only 13:10 a game. Kolanos came into camp after foregoing his final two years at Boston College to try and make a spot on the Coyotes, in which he did. Kolanos according to Francis has been a “Crunch-time player” and has showed his remarkable scoring touch with his eight goals this season so far. Kolanos may move to the Coyote Ugly line when Landon Wilson returns for the first time this season on Wednesday against St. Louis Blues and will most likely center Brad May and Wilson.

Kolanos recorded points in seven games this month, beginning with an assist on Nov. 7 against Detroit and a game-winning goal on Nov. 9 at Dallas. He opened a four-game scoring streak on Nov. 13 with a goal in a 5-4 overtime loss to Edmonton. On Nov. 15, he scored a goal to help the Read more»

Canucks prospects stats update

by Kirk Pedersen

1. Allen, Bryan (D), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’98 (1/4)
Vancouver (NHL) 7 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 6 PIM.
Manitoba (AHL) 16 GP, 2 G, 5 A, 7 P, 47 PIM.

2. Chubarov, Artem (C), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’98 (2/31)
Vancouver (NHL) 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM.
Manitoba (AHL) 18 GP, 7 G, 12 A, 19 P, 2 PIM.

3. Vydareny, Rene (D), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’99 (3/69)
Manitoba (AHL) 6 GP, 1 G, 1 A, 2 P, 0 PIM.
Columbia (ECHL) 10 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 9 PIM.

4. Auld, Alex (G), Manitoba (AHL). Acquired in a deal with Florida (2001)
Columbia (ECHL) 3 GP, 2 W, 0 L, 1 SOL, 2.21 GAA, .913 SV %.

5. Umberger, R.J. (C), Ohio State (CCHA). Drafted: ’01 (1/16)
Ohio State (CCHA) 14 GP, 6 G, 8 A, 14 P, 10 PIM.

6. Reid, Brandon (C), Manitoba Moose (AHL). Drafted: ’00 (7/208)
Manitoba (AHL) 19 GP, 1 G, 7 A, 8 P, 0 PIM.

7. Smith, Nathan (C), Swift Current (WHL). Drafted: ’00 (1/23)
Swift Current (WHL) 9 GP, 4 G, 7 A, 11 P, 8 PIM.

8. Komarniski, Zenith (D), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’96 (3/75)
Manitoba (AHL) 21 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P, 62 PIM.

9. Bell, Thatcher (C), Rimouski (QMJHL). Drafted: ’00 (3/71)
Rimouski (QMJHL) 23 GP, 8 G, 20 A, 28 P, 27 PIM.

10. Fedorov, Fedor (LW), Manitoba (AHL). Drafted: ’01 (3/66)
Manitoba (AHL) 8 GP, 2 G, 1 A, 3 P, 6 PIM. Read more»

Boston Bruins: Barbs Wired

by Shane Walsh

Like most youthful hockey players growing up in Western Canada, University of Denver sniper Greg Barber has always dreamt of someday playing in the NHL. Emulating his hockey heroes on the streets of Kelowna, British Columbia, Barber has always been a standout wherever he’s played. If sheer determination was worth its weight in Black & Gold, then tip the scales in his favor for a longstanding future with the Bruins organization.

A standout for the Victoria Salsa of the BCHL, Barber’s superb play in 1998-99 earned him a BCHL all-star appearance and the Boston Bruins 207th overall selection at the 1999 NHL entry draft. Playing alongside Martin Kariya, Barber notched 41 goals and 82 points in 60 games for Victoria that year. When reached at his home on draft day, Barber was both shocked and surprised that his life long dream had taken a positive step forward.

“I wasn’t expecting a call or anything like that,” said Barber in an interview with hockeysfuture. “I was hanging with friends at my house and was not paying any attention to the draft. I was pretty happy. It was unexpected, so I was kind of shocked.”

His play struggled somewhat the following year as a freshman for the University of Denver. Known for being a big goal scorer, his adjustment from the BCHL to the WCHA was tougher on him than anyone had expected. He finished second in rookie scoring for Denver netting 7 goals and 15 points in 40 games. As a sophomore, he had a knack for late-minute heroics as he tallied two third-period game-tying markers. He equaled his freshman totals of 7goa Read more»

Will Year Five Be The Charm?

by Michael Karlstrom

Will Year Five Be The Charm?

The game of hockey and the NHL is full of many logic beliefs and theory systems. Some of the most widely held ideas are actually contradictory to one-another. It isn’t a nice cookie-cutter world where you can input A and automatically assume that you will get an output of B, but in the midst of these sometimes unexpectantly generated results against the ‘rules’ we hold dearest, there still are some factors that do seem to play true time and again. One such passage that has historically played a very significant impact upon those who have played the game is the ‘magic’ of the fifth year and/or age 22/23 season.

Simply put, there is some pretty suggestive evidence to indicate that a very large segment of players don’t actually arrive at their highest levels until they have either played a full four seasons and are in their fifth campaign, or are in the season where they turn 23 years of age. I use these two qualifiers because not everyone gets to the NHL at age 18 and thus some have their 23rd birthday before their fifth season.

The timing for this article is inspired by the arrival of two youngsters from the Boston Bruins reaching this juncture.

If you look at the current point leader board at the beginning of December for the NHL, it might be surprising to see that both Sergei Samsonov and Joe Thornton are firmly entrenched among the top 20 producers in the league.

Sergei Samsonov is actually 8th in league scoring after games as of Sunday, December 2nd. He does have games in hand to play on four of Read more»

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