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.

 

Manitoba Moose Announce Affiliation With Vancouver and Unveil New Coach

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

The Manitoba Moose unveiled Stan Smyl as their new head coach Tuesday, a day after joining the American Hockey League from the defunct International Hockey League.
The Moose also made official that their NHL affiliation would be the Vancouver Canucks.

“When looking at affiliation, it was important for us to be associated with a Canadian-based franchise and the Canucks are a quality, first-class organization,” said Moose owner Mark Chipman.

The teams agreed to a five-year partnership deal.
Randy Carlyle stays on as general manager for the Moose, who were among six former IHL teams to move to the AHL.
Smyl, has been with the Canucks organization since he was drafted as a player in 1978. He led the Kansas City Blades to a 37-42-3 record in the IHL last season.

“While our organization’s number one goal is to develop the future stars of the Vancouver Canucks, it is equally important to put a competitive team on the ice that Manitobans can be proud of,” said Smyl. “I look forward to working with Randy and taking a run at a Calder Cup championship.”

The Moose also re-styled their team jerseys. The new look features a Canucks shoulder patch with the colour scheme switching from purple, green and black, to a forest green, bronze and black.

“With the new affiliation with the Vancouver Canucks, and our entry into a new league, we thought it would be fitting to give our hockey club a new and more modern look,” said Moose vice-president Tim Scott. “We feel these new uniforms combine many of hockey’s traditions with an exciting look Read more»

Jagr rumors heat up…

by Richard A. Plisco
on

With the NHL 2001 entry draft slated to begin within weeks, the Jagr rumors have begun to intensify. The Pittsburgh franchise and specifically GM Craig Patrick will be the spotlight for what may prove to be one of the biggest trades in NHL history.

Critics liken the situation to that of Gretzky going to Los Angeles or Lindros going to Philadelphia. No doubt, Penguins fans will expect nothing less than fair market value. However, several key factors come into play. The Pens are looking to unload Jagr’s salary to free up budget room to re-sign all-star scorers Kovalev and Straka. So trading for a current legitimate NHLer is more than not likely in the cards.

The Penguins will most likely be looking to add inexpensive depth players to round out the roster and any combination of picks, prospects, and/or cash. Commissioner Gary Bettman will also be expected to monitor the move to insure that cash value does not violate league restrictions.

Sources for the team indicate that now would be the best time to make such a deal for many reasons, the most obvious is to solidify a core group of performers to afford Mario one more decent shot at a Cup before re-entering retirement. Mario has only committed to one more season and the Olympics, so the window of opportunity may be minute.

The teams rumored to be interested currently include the Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Islanders, and the San Jose Sharks. Teams that struggled this season and have the payroll also cannot be discounted which would bring the New York Ra Read more»

Rest of Red Wings prospects in Europe

by Zoran Manojlovic
on

This is the second part in my look back on Red Wings prospects in Europé.

1. Pavel Datsyuk

Position: Center
Team: AK Bars Kazan
Born: 1978
Height: 5.11
Weight: 190
Drafted: 6th round in the 1998 draft (171 overall)
Rating: 6.5 / 10
Last season: 40 games 9 goals 17 assists 26 points 6 pim

The now 23 -year old late rounder from Sverdlovsk in Russia has emerged
as one of the best prospects in the Red Wings organization during the
past season.

He has had a career season in Russia with 26 points (9 goals and 17
assists) in 40 games. Datsyuk has played an essential role in Kazan (one
of the best clubs in Russia), he is playing on powerplay, boxplay,
everything. He has played so good that he has been a regular all year
long on the National Team. In the first tournaments with the national
team he was center on the 3rd and 4th lines, but in the WC in Germany he
played so good that he become 1st line center between Valeri Karpov
(left) and Alexei Yashin (right). He maid a terrific tournament even
dough he didn`t register a goal, he had 4 helpers in 7 games , was +5
(best on team), won 58% of the face-offs (best on team). He played a
great two-way game, lots of great passes, moves in high speed, and very
good backchecks. He didn`t behave like Russians do, but he played a very
good Russian hockey. In my opinion he was the best player on the team.

During the year he played in 19 games with the national team and
registered 2 goals and 5 assists and 2 pim.

Datsyuk is a great talent that has developed into a very good all-round
 Read more»

Pens ’99 pick Van Hoof dumped

by Richard A. Plisco
on

At the deadline, the Pittsburgh Penguins scouting staff felt that 19 year old defenseman Jeremy Van Hoof had not developed significantly enough over the past couple of seasons to warrant a contract.

It is also surmised that Van Hoof’s agent was asking for a contract dollar figure that the Pens balked at as not even close to reasonable for what the 6-2 208lbs. blueliner has showed thus far. Van Hoof anchored the Ottawa 67’s defense corp this season on it’s way to the Ontario Hockey League Championship. In 65 regular season tilts, the youngster recorded an uninspiring 1 goal and 11 assists. The physical rear guard also picked up 49 penalty minutes in those appearances.

Van Hoof, much to the dismay of his agent, will re-enter the draft pool and more than likely be picked in later rounds as is usually the case for older draft entries. Jeremy’s agent was surprised that the Pens were no longer interested in the prospect, especially since the Penguins lack size and toughness on D. The Pens cited Van Hoofs minimal improvement and inconsistent play as factors in the decision.

Earlier, the Penguins signed another ’99 pick, defenseman Darcy Robinson. Van Hoof and his agent noted that they have recieved attention from other NHL clubs.

2001 Draft Profile: Tim Gleason

by Jonathan Litterine
on
There is no doubt Tim Gleason has the skills to become a very
very solid NHL defenseman. Smooth skating and quick passing are Gleason’s top
2 strengths. Yet Gleason is missing something. It might delay his arrival to
the NHL. Gleason doesn’t have the hockey smarts a NHL d-man should. Now there
are varying reports from scouts, but most feel Gleason needs to improve his
hockey smarts in order to be a successful NHL player. Stephen Weiss hands
down is the smartest player in this years draft. If Gleason had the smarts of
Weiss he would probably be a top 5 selection. Yet this will cause him to most
likely be a mid to late first round pick. At 6’0, 200 pounds Gleason is a
two way player. He has above average offensive skills and is very good in his
own zone. Sometimes he gets out of control and starts running around in his
own zone. If he can harness his ability and make quicker and smarter
decisions he can be a very very solid player. Yet between now and draft time
there isn’t any more chances to change his game. It looks like Tim Gleason
will have to develop on the pro level, which is the hardest level of all to
develop your game.

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