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.

 

Pardubice win Czech Junior Extraleague

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The Czech junior Extraleague finally came to the championship battle. Every team, who wants
to compete for the title, muss pass a long way. First there is the regular season, which
consists of 38 games. The teams are divided into two groups, Group A for the teams from the
western cities of the Czech Republic and Group B for the eastern cities’ teams.
Each Group consists of 10 teams. During the regular season the teams meet only opponents from
their own group. Then comes the Final group. To this group advance the top 6 teams from every
Group. In the Final group the teams from group A play only the teams from Group B and every
team meets his opponent twice – home and away. Also the Final group is divided into two parts.
After that the top four teams from every Final group create four quarterfinal pairs and then
it is a regular playoff, the games are best of three.
This year the juniors of HC Pojistovna Pardubice fought their way into the finals, where they
had to face the juniors from HC Slovnaft Vsetin. The Pardubice team seemed to be the favorite
as they were ruling the Extraleague for the whole season. They have an excellent goalie in
Martin Barek, who was the starter for all junior teams of the 1982 born players, the defense
mixes experienced players like overager Petr Mocek or Pavel Dvorak along with young prospects
like Martin Vagner or Tomas Linhart, both 1984 born. Up in the front Pardubice boast an
excellent scoring line of Josef Vitek, captain Albin Podstavek and Jan Kolar, a player with
some experience with the senior Extraleague. Besides Read more»

Disappointment reigns for Dynamiter coach

by Jeff Bromley
on
For those close to the Kimberley
Dynamiter organization, the
announcement that the club would cease
operations only hours before the
opening faceoff of game two of their
AWHL quarter-final playoff against the
Bismarck Bobcats, came with all the
surprise of terminally ill patient. You
know that the prognosis isn’t good, but
still remain upbeat and optimistic that
patient can make the miraculous
recovery and live a normal life. The
Kimberley Dynamiters were in such a
position all season long, struggling to
cover expenses, wondering if at the end
of the day there would still be hockey in
the Bavarian City. There were whispers
and innuendo of the team’s forecasted
demise, but as in any small town – they
were written off as only rumors and you
would hope that the club would survive
to see another game.

For Nitro’s Head Coach Nels Ecklund,
who’s seen more than his fair share of
the Dynamiter’s off-ice troubles this past
season including covering the teams
expenses while on the road on different
occasions and is still awaiting his last
paycheck, the biggest disappointment is
not for himself but for the club’s hockey
players who worked hard all season long
to get to the AWHL playoffs only to
have the rug pulled from under them.
“It’s still something that is very difficult
to accept,” said Ecklund. “I still look at
the fact where the biggest people who
were affected in it all were the 24
players who put so much effort into
their season and were looking forward
to their playoff run and having that
opportunity for a championship ta Read more»

Dynamiters Demise signal end of an era

by Jeff Bromley
on



The Kimberley Dynamiters are ceasing operations at the cusp of their 2001 AWHL playoff run.
A club so entrenched within the psyche
of the Bavarian City that the Dynamiters
themselves predate the moniker
adoption of the now-famous Bavarian
theme by some 40 years. Save for
perhaps the Sullivan Mine, that enabled
Kimberley’s existence in the first place, it
was the Dynamiters hockey club over
the span of almost 75 years
that most identified the city Kimberley
with.

It would be easy to dwell on the many
reasons and theories for the demise of
the AWHL Junior A Dynamiters. An
attendance ceiling that could seemingly
never be surpassed, the economic reality
of the Sullivan Mine on the verge of
closure in the city, the glaringly obvious
economic discrepancy for the Nitros
playing in a league populated with
mostly American clubs and even the
arrival of the Kootenay ICE to the
region three years ago could all be
counted as reasons for the folding of the
Dynamiters. Instead we can remember the stories, anecdotes and
players of all incarnations of the Nitros
that wore proudly the stick of Dynamite
emblazoned on their jerseys. The fierce
rivalry of Cranbrook Colts/Royals and
the Kimberley Dynamiters that on many
occasions and in many different eras
required police escorts for fans and
players alike returning back to their
respective cities. The RMJHL
Dynamiters becoming the first club to
even win a game against the BCJHL
Champions in the Doyle Cup in more
than eight years of trying. The great
Nitros club of 1997 who only Read more»

Log Jam

by pbadmin
on
Currently on the roster including the return of injured Josh Green thier will be 21 players next training camp competing for 13 spots. It seems at the moment that at least 11 are a lock with 8 forwards fighting it out for the two remaining positions. At the end of the regular season the line up should look something like this.

Line #1 Green/Zholtok – Weight – Cleary

Line #2 Smyth – Comrie – Carter

Line #3 Moreau – Marchant – Grier

Line #4 Horcoff – Murray – Laraque

Spare – Pittis

However next year you throw in this list of players and things become a lot more crowded.
RW/LW Michel Riesen,
LW Jani Rita,
C Brian Swanson,
RW/C Paul Comrie,
C Jason Chimera,
C Peter Sarno,
LW Tony Salmelainen

Of the remaining six it seems Michel Riesen has the best chance of making the squad since the Oilers have a need for winger with goal scoring ability. Zholtok and Pittis may both be pushed aside by younger players since both are good utility players neither have the ability to command regular duty. Zholtok and Pittis could be both moved for defensive depth or picks and allow Green and Riesen to take thier spots and have the remainder return to Hamilton for a year without hurting the deveopment of the players or the team.

The battles between the players to make the club will be interesting for the media and fans and difficult for the coaches and managment since thier decisions could alter the direction of the organization over the next couple seasons. But everyone involved can take heart that Read more»

Riesen to Believe

by pbadmin
on
Since being drafted 14th overall in 1997 Michel is the Oiler’s David a potential masterpiece a project which takes time and patience. After coming over to North America for the 1998-99 season it has taken over 200 games in the American Hockey League for him to realize what it takes on a nightly basis to make the leap forward. The largest improvement has come in his willingness to take responsibility for his defensive assignments in neutral and defensive zones.

As ice time increased for him with a more dilligent work ethic the offensive stats began to appear as well with 56 goals over the last 140 games with a multitude of different linemates as well. At the begining of the season Michel had the chance to secure a roster spot with the Oilers but after 12 games he was sent back down. His demotion was not due to lack of effort in either offensive of defensive areas but having been paired up the two other rookies for the majority of the time did not allow him to showcase his talents.

Pure and simple he is a goal scorer and perhaps he does not have the grit and physical presence that the Oilers ideally look for but does however possess talents that could help them become a more well rounded team. Next training camp will tell if the Oiler’s management and coaching have the forsight to place Michel on Doug Weight’s line with Dan Cleary. With Dan Cleary’s game rounding out and Doug Weight’s ability to make players around him better thier may not be a better place for Michel in the league.

At the start of next season Michel will be 22 yrs of age wh Read more»

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