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.

 

Comrie/Van Ryn Rule Haunting the CHL

by Jeff Bromley
on
The continual posturing and infighting that goes on between the NHL and the player’s union, the NHLPA, has now spilled over and is directly affecting the CHL and the three leagues under its umbrella; the WHL, OHL and QMJHL. A press release was issued recently by the National Hockey League Player’s Association that the union had filed suit in court to stop the Ontario Hockey League from restricting overage players from playing in that league unless they had signed a USA Hockey or a Canadian Hockey Association playing card. In essence, the rule restricts players making the jump from the NCAA to the CHL because American College players don’t sign USA Hockey playing cards, as only players in American junior leagues are required to do so.

The rule put in place by the OHL and the subsequent litigation filed by the NHLPA is the recent fallout over a decision last year by former NHL arbitrator Lawrence Holden who ruled that Michigan Wolverine rearguard Mike Van Ryn would be eligible for free agency if the New Jersey Devils who drafted him and held his rights didn’t sign him by the NHL Draft deadline, two years past the day they were drafted, as is the rule for all drafted junior players. Van Ryn left college to join the Sarnia Sting of the OHL as a twenty-yr-old and argued that now that he was a junior hockey player, the signing deadline/free agency rules should also apply to him. The NHL arbitrator agreed with Van Ryn and when the New Jersey Devils didn’t sign him, he signed with the St. Louis Blues as an unrestricted free agent last summer. Similarly, Mike Comrie Read more»

Finnish regular season ends

by Mikko Vuori
on

SM-liiga regular season ended last weekend and the
playoffs start today (03/22/01). Here are the regular season numbers for NHL draftes players and some undrafted juniors.

Name – drafter stats – since last update

W Frank Banham 56 24+27=51 +9 70 – 14 5+8=13 +2 18

Banham’s role wasn’t as big as in the beginning of the season,
maily because of Shayne Toporowsky’s arrival. Still he finished
with very good numbers.

W Teemu Elomo – Stars 56 2+10=12 +9 44 – 15 0+1=1 -2 6

This season must have been a disappointment for speedy winger.
Elomo was able to scro onl two goals despide playing last games
in team’s top line with Kimmo Rintanen and Niko Kapanen.
Elomo is going to play for Lukko Rauma next season.

D Ray Giroux – Islanders 46 7+18=25 +10 50 – 16 2+5=7 +6 12

Giroux wasn’t able to produce as much as when he joined Jokerit
but with his +6 in last games he was able to help his team
to clinch the reagular season win.

C Riku Hahl – Avalanche 55 3+9=12 -4 32 – 15 1+3=4 +1 8

Hahl’s last part of the season was pretty good.
He still hasn’t made his breakthrough, maybe next season?

W Niklas Hagman – Panthers 56 28+18=46 +1 32 – 15 9+8=17 +4 6

Hagman had a very strong last last part of the season. He finished
3rd in goal scoring after Jaroslav Bednar (32) and Vladimir Machulda
(29). Hagman is going to move to TPS Turku next season.

W Jukka Hentunen – Flames 56 27+28=55 +15 24 – 16 7+8=15 +7 2 Read more»

Captain Crunch dominates ICE Awards

by Jeff Bromley
on
The Kootenay ICE held the 2001 edition of their team awards banquet this past Tuesday at the Town & Country Inn Ballroom and similar to his play on the ice, team Captain Dean Arsene, nicknamed Captain Crunch for his punishing hits on opponents all season long, made his presence felt by being honored four times. The ICE leader captured the club’s Best Defensemen trophy for the second year in a row, the Community Relations award, also for the second year running, the Plus/Minus Award and the coveted Players Award voted upon by his teammates. Arsene, always the consummate team player, was overwhelmed with the honors bestowed upon him. “It’s definitely a nice honor, especially being my last year. I was pretty shocked last season when I received those awards, this year I’m pretty much overwhelmed,” said Arsene. “It’s a great honor to a part of this organization and being recognized among the players on this team makes it a pretty special night.” Arsene, who’s in his last year of junior eligibility doesn’t yet know what the future holds. At this juncture however, the well-spoken Captain of the ICE is focused solely on one thing – the playoffs and the defense of the WHL Championship. “Obviously, like every hockey player’s dream is to play pro at some level, which would be ultimate for me. I’d like to be able to have the chance to play pro somewhere but if that doesn’t work out there’s the CIAU route which is not a downer. There’s a lot of great players like Belak, Burt and Poole from our organization that have gone and their great players,” said Arsene. “Right now the playoffs Read more»

P-Bruins Feeling Blue As Playoffs Approach

by pbadmin
on
With less than three weeks remaining in the AHL’s regular season, the Providence Bruins are beginning to look ahead to the playoffs. However, if you ask their fans, they’d probably tell you that the P-Bruins have been looking ahead to the playoffs since Christmas.

When Santa Claus made his trip around the world, the P-Bruins were the best team in the American Hockey League. Owners of a 20-6-3-2 record (45 points), Providence was off to its best start in the nine-year history of the franchise. Despite lacking the services of their top two goaltenders in Andrew Raycroft and Kay Whitmore, who were both playing in Boston in place of injured Byron Dafoe and John Grahame, the P-Bruins managed to dominate the first half of the AHL season. ECHL import Judd Lambert was stopping everything in sight, newly-signed Eric Manlow and Peter Vandermeer were leading the league in points and power play goals respectively, and a young defensive corps led by Nick Boynton and Jonathan Girard were limiting opponents to a league-low 24 shots a game.

Three months later, the P-Bruins find themselves stumbling into the playoffs with a 30-27-10-4 record (74 points), good enough for third-place in the New England Division. Eight points behind second-place Hartford, the P-Bruins’ hopes of attaining home-ice advantage for the opening round of the playoffs are all but gone.

What happened to this team in the span of the last three months is not a secret. The mystery is how such a grand collapse could happen to such a talented team. Indeed, the P-Bruins ha Read more»

Spring’s Last Dance Begins!

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

The QMJHL regular season ended last Tuesday night, with Chicoutimi
and Rimouski getting the last two tickets for the Spring’s Last Dance. Here
is the QMJHL playoffs picture.

The regular season
is over.

The Shawinigan Cataractes dominated the QMJHL
and finished first overall with an eyes-popping 116 points, 15 more than the
runner up, the Val-d’Or Foreurs. This season has been noticeable for
the obvious strength of the Lebel Conference compared to the Dillio Conference.
Four teams of the Lebel Conference (Shawinigan, Val-d’Or, Victoriaville and
Rouyn-Noranda) had more points than the 90 points of the Dilio Conference leader
the Baie-Comeau Drakkar. Also, three Dilio Conference teams (Rimouski,
Chicoutimi and Québec) participating to the playoffs would have been
excluded of the Lebel Conference playoffs.

Let’s get it on! Read more»

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