Michael Neal


Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (149th overall), 2007


187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B


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.



Appears to be a fringe AHL player at this point and may spend another year in the ECHL while competing for AHL call-ups.


Bolts Bits

by Megan Sexton

Lobb out for Season

During the third period of Sunday night’s game versus his former team, the London Knights, Aaron Lobb was checked by the Knights’ Sean Dixon. Dixon’s hip connected with Lobb’s knee and resulted in a season ending injury. Although Dixon received a kneeing major and a game misconduct, the hit was deemed legal and no action will be taken.

Surgery will be scheduled soon to repair Lobb’s damaged anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in his left knee. The Lightning will be picking a surgeon, while the Guelph Storm aid his recovery by focusing on a regimen to increase his upper body strength and help him add bulk to his 6’4 frame.

Eklund earns honors

Brown Goaltender Brian Eklund was named ECAC Goaltender of the Week on November 7th. In Brown’s season opener on November 3rd, Eklund stopped 27 of 29 shots to give Brown a 4-2 victory over Harvard.

This marks the third time in his career Eklund has earned the honor and the second time in a row. Eklund received the honor in the final week of the previous season after he stopped 48 of 51 shots.

In three games with Brown this season, Eklund has a 2.68 goals against average.

Lightning shuffle the deck

On November 9th, the Lightning acquired defensemen Josef Boumedienne and Sascha Goc and left wing Anton But from the New Jersey Devils in
exchange for defenseman Andrei Zyuzin.

Next, they reassigned defenseman Mathieu Biron and right wing Nikita Alexeev to Springfield (AHL) and recalled Boumedienne, Goc and left wing Read more»

Kings Season In Flux

by Michael Harbison

Well lets take a look first at the offense, when the
Kings had their playoff run last spring they had 3
lines that were putting up offense, Jozef Stumpel was
centering Ziggy Palffy and Adam Deadmarsh, Bryan
Smolinski was on a “stopper unit” 2nd line with Nelson
Emerson and Glen Murray, and rookie Eric Belanger was
centering Luc Robitaille and Ian Laperriere to form an
all French-Canadian 3rd line. Right now three of those
guys (Robitaille, Stumpel and Murray) are no longer
with the club and Emerson is out indefinitely with a
head injury. Once Jason Allison gets his legs back and
gets used to this team the Kings will boast one of the
deadliest 1st lines in the NHL with Allison between
Palffy and Deadmarsh, the problem lies in the 2nd and
3rd lines. Bryan Smolinski and Steve Heinze are
quality 2nd line forwards, the problem is they have
yet to find a consistent linemate since Murray was
dealt. Jaroslav Bednar an overage Czech who lead the
Finnish League in goals has been a bust with only 1
assist in 10 games, journeyman Randy Robitaille can
fill in when called upon but cannot be expected to be
a regular scoring line contributor. The Kings need to
address this problem shortly, they are clearly a 2nd
line LW short of 2 full scoring lines, which you need
to have to win in the NHL.

On the blueline the Kings have been strong for the
most part, keeping the shot totals down and playing a
sound positional game. Aaron Miller returned last
night vs. Detroit and his strong defensive play will
help even more. Offensively its been the Mathieu
Schnei Read more»

Coyotes Prospects with Springfield

by Russell Brooks

Patrick DesRochers is off to a shaky start this year. His statistics look so poor mostly due to an 8-4 loss he suffered a couple of weeks ago when he allowed all eight goals on 30 shots. He played decent in both games this weekend, losing in Worcester (4-2 with 30 saves) and winning against Manchester (5-4 with 28 saves).

He’s done a better job in controlling rebounds this season. Being a butterfly style goalie, he’s down on the ice a lot, so the majority of goals he allow are top shelf. He does not play the puck very well and needs to stay in the net more often until he improves on that. DesRochers certainly doesn’t look like a former first-round pick and has a long way to go if he plans on making it to the NHL.

Kirill Safronov is still very sound defensively, leading the team with a plus-minus rating of +9. The second-year professional leads all defensemen on the team in scoring with seven points (one goal, six assists). Safronov has seen a lot of time on the power play this season. Safronov has been called up with the Coyotes but hasn’t played in any games yet.

Dan Focht defensive play has improved greatly over the last couple of seasons, but he’s still slow and doesn’t contribute anything to the offense (he’s scored only four goals in over 200 professional games). He’s a big guy at 6’6″ and 240 pounds, however he doesn’t fight very well. Focht has a tendency to take a lot of unnecessary minor penalties. It doesn’t appear as if he’ll ever be a consistent player at the NHL level.

David Cullen is a small, offensive-min Read more»

Minutemen and Huskies Game Recap

by Steve Feldman

Springfield, Ma. The U-Mass Minuteman took on the U-Conn Huskies Sunday at the Springfield Civic Center. The Minuteman jumped out to a 3-0 start before the Huskies scored late in the second period. The two teams each played a hard fought third period with the Minuteman sneaking by with a 6-5 win.

The U-Mass Minutemen dominated the first period, but U-Conn Sophomore goalie Artie Imbriano only let one goal by him. Minutemen Freshman Sean Regan scored at the 4:25 mark of the period. U-Mass had the only penalty when senior Martin Miljko was called for interference.

U-Mass continued the domination they had in the first period scoring three more goals in the second period, including two on the power play. The Minutemen scored the first goal of the period by Miljko only 10 seconds into a power play. U-Conn Senior Trent Landry was spending time in the penalty box for hooking. Miljko picked up his second goal of the game when he lit the lamp at the 14:29 mark. The Minutemen added to their lead when Freshman Greg Mauldin scored 3:03 later, while the Minutemen were on a power play. At the time of the goal U-Conn Senior Mike Boylon was in the penalty box for cross checking. U-Conn finally beat U-Mass Senior goaltender Mike Johnson. The U-Conn goal was scored when Boylon made up for his penalty, which led to the fourth U-Mass goal.

The third period started with a goaltender change. The U-Mass Minutemen put Freshman Tim Warner in the net. U-Conn took advantage of the goalie change and Boylon scored his second goal of the game. U-Mass put a three go Read more»

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