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.

 

BCHL’s three solid defensemen

by Glenn Fugate
on

Dale Lupul is a 20-year-old defenseman with the Burnaby Bulldogs. Lupul seems to more of a stay at home d-man but has enough skill to get power play time.At 6’2 205 Lupul can keep the traffic from in front of the net. Defensemen like this are a coach’s dream, you can put them out there when you need solid play in your own end or if you need some offense. Lupul is not much fun to mess with looking at the PIMS. In 56 games this year Lupul has tallied 149 of them. On the offensive side throw in 64 points and you have a pretty good all round d-man. Lupul has a presence on the ice, a solid junior defenseman.

Brad Farynuk is a 18-year-old defenseman with the Vernon Vipers. A good open ice hitter,forewards have to watch when he is on the ice. Farynuk moves the puck well and can play all special teams. A rookie in the BCHL, he has already obtained a scholarship. Farynuk will attend R.P.I next season and should make an impact right away. This native of Enderby B.C. has decent size at 6’1 195 and racks up close to a point a game. He probably plays as much for Vernon as fellow d-man Reilly Olson who will be attending the U. of Michigan. Farynuk is a solid skater and should have a good future at R.P.I.

Duncan Keith is a 17-year-old defenseman with the Penticton Panthers. You only have to watch this player skate once to see why college scouts were all over him. Keith floats on the blades and can take the rough going despite his smallish stature(5’11 160). He takes big hits and he doesn’t flinch — when he’s hit, Keith is a to Read more»

Rangers Acquire Peter Smrek

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

From the 1st day of this season, fans of the Rangers pleaded for General Manager Glen Sather to deal the high-priced veterans on the club who no longer could help them out in return for some young players and draft picks to quicken a hopefull rebuilding process that most fans would like to see take place.

It took until March 1st for the Rangers to finally make a deal that could actually help them out in the future, by dealing soon-to-be UFA Eric Lacroix to the Ottawa Senators in return for 25 year old, 6’4 215 pound Colin Forbes. Although Forbes is not known for his offensive abilities, he’s a nice sparkplug for the 4th line who mucks it out in the corners and plays a physical game. Forbes has looked pretty good in his 2 games so far as a Ranger, and I am already liking him better than Eric Lacroix.

But the better deal came today, March 5th, as the Rangers traded 36 year old defenseman Alexei Gusarov to the St. Louis Blues for 22 year old Slovak defenseman Peter Smrek. I love this deal for the Rangers. Smrek is a solid two-way defenseman who has the potential to put up 10 goals and 20 assists in the NHL. He has spent the majority of this season with the Worcester Ice Cats of the AHL, posting 2 goals and 6 assists in 47 games this season, to go along with 69 penalty minutes. In 6 games with the St. Louis Blues, he has registered 2 goals and 2 penalty minutes. To put things in a different perspective, the Rangers acquired Alexei Gusarov from the Colorado Avalanche in December for a 5th round pick. So in reality, we give up a 5th round pick for Peter Smrek. I woul Read more»

Islanders Prospect Report Part II

by Drew Bennett
on

Stephen Valiquette- Right before a foot injury, the man they call
“Valley”
was having a good season with the Springfield Falcons of the American
Hockey
Leauge. He had a 7-10-1 record with a .907 save percentage and with
time and
expierence, the game’s tallest goalie ever could be a solid NHL
back-up.


Arto Tukio-
Tukio was the Islanders fourth round draft pick last
summer and
the 19 year old Finnish defenceman was to be the captain of the Finnish
team
at the World Junior Championships before an ankle injury. He has
reminded
Islanders Assistant General Manager Gordie Clark of Don Sweeney.


Radek Martinek-
Martinek was an Islanders draft pick in 1999 and most
people
forget about him when they think of that years draft. The Czech
Republic
native has opted to play in the tournaments there, instead of playing
in the
minors this year. Martinek is a little older than most prospects at
24,
Martinek could be seen in an Islanders uniform in a few years.


Dick Transform-
Another older Islanders prospect, he also opted to
spend
this season in Europe. After being drafted in 1994, Tarnstrom has
shown
improvement and is a solid defenceman.


Marco Charpentier-
After a good training camp, Charpentier was signed
to a
contract in December. Playing for Baie Comeau in the QMJHL, he has 50
goals
and 94 points in 55 games.


Mattias Weinhandl-
After a very serious eye injury, Weinhandl is back
to his
old form. Playing for a rebuilding MoDo team in the Swedish Elite
L Read more»

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