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.

 

Josef Vavra – a wildcard for the draft

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Josef Vavra didn’t have the opportunity like lots of fellow 2002 prospect had, for example Jiri
Hudler, Petr Taticek or Petr Jelinek. He wasn’t born in a family of a former active player
or even active coach. Josef’s dad enjoyed a basketball career but was a huge fan of hockey, though.
Because he didn’t play organised hockey, only when he had the opportunity to agree with
some friends on a match, then he laced up the skates and the puck began to fly on the ice. Read more»

From the Editor: New Features and Draft Centers

by Mark Fischel
on

Since we are always thinking here at Hockey’s Future on how to improve our site and make it more enjoyable for all of you to spend your time here, some new features are going to be coming soon to our pages.

Over the next few weeks, Hockey’s Future is going to expand our coverage of the jr. Leagues and Teams with the addition of several CHL Team pages similiar to the NHL Team Pages. As the Editors complete the pages, their link will appear on the right hand side under the “HF Country Pages”. Right now we currently have the Kamloops Blazers page up, and it will be fully completed within the next few days. Please do keep in mind that it is a work in progress and there are still some features that aren’t implemented yet. If you have any ideas of what you would like to see or any thoughts, you can always e-mail me or Shane Malloy.

Also coming near the New Year, will be “A look past” the 2002 NHL Entry Draft with our publishing of a list of the top prospects eligible for the 2003, 2004 and 2005 Drafts. Compiled by Jake Dole with the assistance of several of our editors from the various leagues and countries, this preview will surely be something to give you an idea of the top 20+ players to watch for down the road.

In addition, Hockey’s Future will be publishing the 2002 Draft Previews for each league after the Olympics. Look for complete profiles, stats, pictures, and interviews for the top players in each league, Country, and the NCAA Ranks. Our staff of over 20 contributors are currently working to put all of this together, which will culminate in the la Read more»

Calder Corner For the Week Ending 12/16

by HF Staff
on


The Calder Corner

One of the unheralded rookies this year, Erik Cole of the Hurricanes explodes for 6 points to take the Calder Corner Prospect of the week.

ATL

4 Games
Heatley: 1 Goal (10), 2 Assists
Kovalchuk: 1 Goal (13), 4 Assists

BUF
2 Games
Noronen: 45 Shots, 40 Saves (1-1-0)

CAR
4 Games
Cole: 3 Goals (5,6,7), 3 Assists

CHI
3 Games
Bell: 1 Goal (7)

CMB
3 Games
Klesla: 1 Goal (3)
Nielsen: 1 Assist
Shelley: 1st NHL Goal and Point (1)

Dallas Stars
2 Games
Gainey: 1st NHL Point

Florida Panthers
3 Games
Hagman: 2 Goals (2,3)
Huselius: 1 Goal (14)

Minnesota Wild
3 Games Read more»

Boyes makes three for WJC

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

Canada’s World Junior Championship team was unveiled on Saturday afternoon and among the names on the list were three Toronto Maple Leaf draftees. Making the cut were defensemen Jay Harrison of the Brampton Battalion, as well as Erie Otter teammates Carlo Colaiacovo and Brad Boyes, the former a blueliner, the latter a pivot. Each is obviously happy to be a part of this long time holiday tradition but each also has something to prove at this tournament.

Brad Boyes is one of the returning forwards from last years’s bronze medal team but while one can count the experience card in his favour, whether or not it was a good or bad one, is up for debate. By the end of the tournament his icetime was being slashed as he was generally ineffective up front. It is not the Brad Boyes many had come to know in the CHL and he arrived in training camp a bit lighter and a step faster. The Otter pivot is an important prospect for the Buds. He is the first pick of the Quinn regime (Nick Beverly is Mike Smith’s man) and a lot of reputations are riding on how well he turns out. As far as Boyes is concerned, if he can put a recent bout of mononucleosis behind him and impress overseas, he has a chance to place himself squarely in position to leapfrog several other highly touted prospects in the Leafs system come September.

Like Boyes, Jay Harrison is no stranger to spending Christmas overseas having done the same thing last year in Moscow. He’s one of five returnees on the blueline but he’ll be the only one playing tour guide for the new guy (see below) at least fro Read more»

Duck’s Pierre Parenteau Profile

by Jamie Randolph
on

Pierre Parenteau stands at 5 feet 11 inches and weighs 165 pounds therefore making him small
by NHL standards especially for a center but whatever he lacks in size he surely makes up for it
in heart. Pierre grew up idolizing Mario Lemieux he liked him for his magical abilities,
deceptive shot, and most of all his French-Canadian roots. When I asked Pierre what his plans
for the future were he told me that he would like to finish his last years of junior eligibility and
spend a season or two in the AHL then he’d be ready to play in the NHL, his life long dream.
Pierre compares himself to Steve Yzerman although he admits his defense needs work, his two
way play is adequate for the QMJHL and his offensive abilities are unquestioned as so far this
season he has 56 points in 31 games, but eh didn’t Stevie Y start out as a one way player, but
Pierre told me this off-season he will be totally committed to working on his defense. Obviously intrested in Pierre’s skill’s I asked him
asked what part of his game stood out above the rest he said his offensive abilities in general but
more specifically his one on one play, a quality that is very important to success at the NHL
level.

Pierre’s favorite hockey team is the Colorado Avalanche although the Ducks are a close
second Pierre likes the Avalanche because they have great overall team skill and have or had
some great French-Canadian players like Patrick Roy and Ray Bourque. After finding out that
the Ducks were Pierre’s second favorite I asked him what he thought of the organization to
explain his liking for the Read more»

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