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.

 

From one end of the spectrum to the other

by Jeff Bromley
on

From one end of the spectrum to the other

In a world seemingly gone loony and getting crazier by the minute, I offer up a rant and rave about things that, upon further review seem minuscule in the greater scheme of things. Stepping away from CNN for a moment…..

The WHL G.M.’s will have met over the weekend and by the beginning of this week, there should be a decision on the adaptation of the new ‘Fast Face-off’ rule in the CHL. Word is that everybody loves it (except, strangely enough the fans I’ve talked to) and the of tweaking it to the tune that an extension of five seconds be added to the home side’s line change time and every period having one promotional timeout to take care of business. In other words, in that short timeout the fans will inundated with promotional advertising in order to satisfy the business end of things at the hockey games. Just so we’re clear; first, the games are going on too long partly due to the jousting and jockeying for position on the face-offs and the subsequent dismissal of one or both of the combatants by the linesmen. Add on the abuse of the last change rule by the home team and you have the reasoning for the implementation of the rule. Going to the other end of the spectrum whereby it isn’t uncommon to see only one team in at the face-off dot before they drop the puck, now they do a turnabout realizing that advertisements, both in-house and on the radio broadcast aren’t getting enough play time. Tell me again why the powers that be don’t just enforce the rules that exist for delay of game. A couple of power-plays agains Read more»

Coyotes Minor League notes

by Russell Brooks
on

A brief look at some minor league players.

Kirill Safronov – Believe it or not but the Falcons of the AHL have Safronov on the left wing on offense and not playing defense. So far he has a goal and assist in 2 games played for them. Will this bring him up in a new position? Only time will tell.

Frederik Sjostrom – After getting off to a real slow start, Sjostrom has picked it up in the last few games. He has a total of three goals and three assists with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL. Expect to see at least 30 goals from him this year.

Matthew Spiller – Spiller has gotten off to a decent start with Seattle this year. Her has two goals and four assists in nine games so far with Seattle. He has been playing up on the top pairs of defense on and off. Look to see him with the Coyotes Early 2003.

Martin Podelsak – Podelsak is off to a nice start with Lethbridge this year. He has one goal and two assists in four games. He didnt start the season with the team as he was with the Coyotes in preseason camp. Look to see him have a shot at the team next year possibly.

Ramzi Abid – Abid is playing well after coming off an injury plagued season last year. He has been playing well and look to see him possibly called up this year if his year is not as plagued with injuries as it was last year.

Patrick DesRochers – Patrick played in the second game of the Falcons season. He gave up 3 goals on 30 shots. As with Burke so far DeRochers isnt getting much defense with the new look Falcons. Expect betters numbers coming Read more»

Philadelphia Phantoms Off to a Rollicking Start

by Bill Meltzer
on

While the Philadelphia Flyers have stumbled a bit out of the gates with just one win (and two come-from-behind ties against Columbus) to show for their first four games, the Flyers top farm club is off to a sensational start. The Phantoms are 4-0-0 and have outscored their opponents by a combined 18 to 7. The Phantoms have begun their first road trip of the season with a 3-2 win in Rochester and a 4-1 victory in Bridgeport.

Even with the callup of top line center Marty Murray to the big club, the Phantoms have not missed a beat since the club departed Philly for the trip. Veteran Mark Freer has moved up from the third line to the center the first line with AHL Player of the Week Mark Greig and red hot sniper Vaclav Pletka. The revised line has continued to dominate.

So far on the young season, Pletka has 6 goals and 3 helpers, including back-to-back two goal efforts against Wilkes Barre/Scranton and Rochester. The second year winger from the Czech
Republic, who reportedly considered going home to play this season because he didn’t think he was in the mix for a job with the big club, has been making a strong case for himself to get NHL consideration, despite his lack of size. He’s shown plenty of speed and a surprising level of grit to go along with his soft hands and laser quick shot release.

Almost everywhere you look in the Phantoms lineup, there are positives.

Second line left wing/ center Tomas Divisek has points in every game so far and has continued to demonstrate a commitment to playing two-way hockey.

Young defenseman Bruno Read more»

Tomas Netik – ATP Champion race or Hockey World Championships?

by Ivana Paulova
on
Czech hockey is presenting another talent. This time it’s Tomas Netik, the undrafted 19 year old player (1982-04-28) of HC Sparta Praha. Many of you will question Sparta once again? Well the reason why many talented players are- or were in Sparta is that because it’s a very good club and it has great teams in all categories and this provides excellent background to all the players. But that doesn’t mean that all players in Sparta possess rare talent. But bare in mind that Tomas Netik isn’t just an ordinary player.

Among other players he is known for his modesty and ever-present positive attitude. He can be considered as a good leader, always giving support to others and making them welcome in the team regardless of whether it’s in Sparta or the national team. He seems to have things sorted out in his mind yet still he is open to new ideas and advises. The main figure in his career as well as personal life is his father a former player and later coach of Sparta now coaching the A team of Nymburg playing 3rd highest league in Czech Republic.

Tomas’ father led his first hockey steps which paradoxically took place at the other Prague stadium which belongs to Sparta’s rival Salvia! He stayed there till the age of 8 and the reason for the change of teams was caused by the fact that Sparta as a club also had a tennis team. Tomas was playing hockey and tennis for Sparta from the age of 8 till the age of 13. This combination worked well in his younger years when he was playing hockey in winter and tennis in summer. He was playing at a high level in both Read more»

Calder Corner for Oct 10th

by HF Staff
on


The Calder Corner

New York Islanders

Radek Martinek: 1 Assist, +4

New York Rangers
Dan Blackburn: NHL Debut, 42 Shots, 37 Saves, 0-1-0

As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!

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