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.

 

Prospect news and notes

by Randy Nicholson
on

Antropov set to make 2000/01 debut: Nik Antropov has been cleared to play for approximately 10 days now but no formal date has yet been set for his return … unfortunately for Nik, the club has reeled of 3 straight impressive wins and Coach Quinn seems hesitant to disrupt the growing team chemistry at this juncture …

One defender short: Rookie blueliner Petr Svoboda is currently out of the Leafs’ line-up with a severe ankle bruise suffered against the Canadiens on November 18th … his injury leaves the team with only 6 healthy defenders at the NHL level … with the St. John’s Maple Leafs currently travelling in the Toronto vicinity, it might be a good chance to take a longer look at Nathan Dempsey who has perhaps been the best player in the entire AHL so far this year (see additional St. John’s coverage below) …

Tellqvist update: Following the National Team’s disastrous performance against Finland at the Karjala Cup, Tellqvist again struggled once back in the SEL – this time against AIK … despite outshooting the other Stockholm-based side by a wide margin, Djurgarden dropped a 4-3 decision … worse still for Mikael, rival goaltender Tim Thomas returned from injury for this match and was the far superior player on the night … things returned to normal later in the week, with Tellqvist back to standing on his head in twin 4-1 ins for Djurgarden over Bjorkloven and Brynas … at this stage in the season, Mikael still owns solid leads in every meaningful SEL goaltending category including a sparklin Read more»

Rangers Weekly Prospect Update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 11/19 to 11/24

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    19  24  17  41   16   22

This Week: 2 GP, 3 G, 1 A, 4 P, 4 PIM, +4


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    13  11   9   20   18  17  Even

This Week: 3 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, 0 PIM, +1


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    25  10  19  29   30   13

This Week: 4 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P, 13 PIM, +2


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    25  18  15  33   12   -4

This Week: 4 GP, 5 G, 2 A, 7 P, 0 PIM, +2


Player            Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   24   6   12  18  60  -2

This Week: 1 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM, -1


Player            Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Premsyl Duben  Baie-Comeau   QMJHL   17   0   6   6  20  -6

This Week: 1 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P, 0 PIM, Even


Player            Team      League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Nathan Martz  New Hampshire  HE     10   1   3   4   6   -1

This Week: No Games Played


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Patrick Aufiero   Boston U.   HE    10   1   3   4   10   Read more»

Svatos’ Frustration Mounting

by Jeff Bromley
on
There are times when a hockey player has to sit on the sidelines instead of playing the game they love. Injuries, suspensions or the dreaded
‘healthy scratch’ keeping them out of the line-up are all the usual reasons for a player not in the game. Kootenay ICE European forward Marek
Svatos is experiencing that feeling, only not because of any of the aforementioned reasons.

The slick Slovakian center, who has only played in eleven of the twenty-six ICE contests so far this season and still occupies the seventh spot
on team scoring with sixteen points, is sitting on the sidelines for another reason, one he has little control over – bureaucratic hockey wrangling.
In order for any European hockey player to play in the North American junior leagues, a release from that players’ home country governing
hockey body or former hockey club must be obtained by the team he plays for. In Svatos’ case, the issue boils down to a contract he signed
with a Slovakian professional club before knowing he was coming to Canada and the Kootenay ICE. Svatos, who is eligible for the 2001 NHL
Draft in Sunrise, Florida is dying to get back on the ice. “I am frustrated by not being able to play,” said the native of Slovakia through teammate
Zdenek Blatny, who acted as interpreter for the interview. “I’m a little mad at my old team in Slovakia, but it’s my own fault too, I signed the
contract.” Marek is also concerned that the games missed might have somewhat of a negative affect in the possibility of being drafted by an
NHL club this June. “I’m not playing, the scouts can Read more»

Tomas Kloucek: Playing Solid On Broadway

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
Kloucek, a 6’3 220 lbs. defenseman from Prague, Czechoslovakia, was selected by the Rangers in the 5th round (131st overall) of the 1998 draft. The season after being drafted, Kloucek came over to North America and played with the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles for the ’98-’99 season, registering 4 goals and 17 assists (21 points) in 59 games, along with 162 penalty minutes. The next season, at 19 years old, Kloucek was playing outstanding as a rookie for the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL. He had 2 goals, 8 assists and 113 PIM in 73 games during the regular season, while chipping in 4 assists and 18 PIM in 23 playoff contests en route to a Calder Cup winning season for the Hartford Wolf Pack. Kloucek was a dominating presence on the Wolf Pack’s blue line, as he was voted the Wolf Pack’s most outstanding rookie and was also voted to the AHL’s all-rookie team. He came to training camp this season looking to make the team as a 20 year old, but after a long look was sent back down to Hartford to get some playing time. Through 11 games with the Wolf Pack this year, Kloucek had 1 assist and 28 PIMS. On Saturday, November 11th, when Defenseman Mike Mottau was sent down to Hartford for likely the rest of the season, Kloucek was recalled and got his first taste of NHL action.

He made his NHL debut the following day against the Phoenix Coyotes, a game in which the Rangers were shutout 2-0. Kloucek played a steady game, while not getting much ice time thanks to Brian Leetch who barely gets off the ice. Kloucek hasn’t made any highlight-reel plays, but that’s not his styl Read more»

Hartford`s Dietrich Impresses

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
Dietrich the 22 year old has lots of speed, but struggled at the AHL level until about the last two weeks when he put his game into high gear. Dietrich has been flanked by fellow rookies Stefan (hardly a rookie) Cherneski, Richard Scott and Boyd Kane.

The Dietrich-Cherneski and Kane line was one of Hartford`s best in a 3-1 victory over Worcester Sunday. Dietrich scored his first professional goal off a beautiful pass from Stefan Cherneski, who recorded his first point since November of 1998. Kane recorded his second assist on the play.

The line has been working together and moulding into a potent down low hard working unit. Dietrich, who has been a healthy scratch for five games and been used sparingly in most of the 13 he has played knows his units role, to create chances and perhaps draw a penalty.

Dietrich was quoted in the Hartford Courant “It’s tough not playing, but you can’t sit and pout. You have to make the most of your chances. There are a couple of other guys in the same situation who are going out and trying hard. Chipping in the odd goal helps out. It takes a little load off and makes you feel a little better.”

LEAGUE NOTES

The AHL appears to be anti-Hartford when it comes to dishing out awards. Brad Smyth who recorded 6 goals in 4 games was left out of player of the week consideration as was new to club goalie Vitali Yeremeyev who recorded a shut out in his first appearance and recorded a 3-0 record with a goals against of 0.92.