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.

 

Impressive bunch at ICE Training Camp ’01

by Jeff Bromley
on


Impressive bunch at ICE Training Camp ’01

It’s always a treat to experience the first weekend of WHL hockey in town as the Kootenay ICE held their training camp kickoff to the 2001-2 season over the weekend at the Rec/Plex. As an added bonus this year the club held both their rookie and veteran camps simultaneously, offering anyone who was desperate for hockey more than enough to satisfy their craving.

Starting Friday with forty-five rookies split into two squads taking to the ice, anticipation was high for the 200 or so parents, fans and onlookers curious for a glimpse of the future of the Kootenay ICE. Most of the players, born in either 1985 or 86, did not disapoint. Some stood out enough amoung the young charges to satify Kootenay ICE fans that the future was indeed, in good hands. One in particular stood head and shoulders above the rest. Nigel Dawes, a fifth round Bantam Draft pick (73rd overall) in 2000 is a name you might want to familiarize yourself with because after an impressive camp that included a bump up to the veterans portion of the camp due to the domination of the rookies and barring a total colapse, Dawes has all but sewn up a lucrative rookie spot on the 2001-02 edition of the Kootenay ICE. The diminuitive forward, listed at 5’8″ 175lbs, makes up in talent, speed and touch around the net for what may be a perception of lack of size in today’s WHL in which the players seemingly get bigger and bigger every year.

Kootenay ICE Director of Player Personnel Roy Stasiuk agreed that Dawes has impressed at camp Read more»

Panthers-Canadiens Rookie Game Recap

by HF Staff
on

HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2001 NHL prospects tournament continued on Thursday at the Robert-Guertin Arena just outside of Ottawa with the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Florida Panthers 2-1. Florida attempted to rally from a 2-0 deficit and dominated play in the second half of the game. LW Josh Olson tallied the lone Panthers’ goal with 0:19 seconds remaining in the second period. He was assisted on the play by D Lucas Krajicek and D Paul Elliott. Florida registered 26 shots on net in the final 30 minutes of the game. Montreal goaltender Olivier Michaud was named the Player of the Game for the Canadiens as he stopped all but one of those shots.

Florida’s Player of Game G Billy Thompson made 27 saves. Florida killed off all seven Montreal power plays. The Panthers only had two power play chances. Florida outshot Montreal 35-29. With the loss, the Panthers record drops to 0-2-0 in the tourney. The round robin tournament will continue on Friday with the Panthers taking on Phoenix at 4:30 PM. Ottawa faces off against Montreal in the late game at 7:30 PM.

FIRST PERIOD: Montreal RW Marc-Andre Thinel scored the lone goal of the first period at the 15:29 mark. Florida’s Thompson was solid stopping 10 shots. The Panthers were outshot by the Canadiens, 11-7.

SECOND PERIOD: After falling behind 2-0, the Panthers battled back with a goal in the final minute of the period. Sustained pressure in the Montreal zone resulted in a goal with just 0:19 on the clock as Olson connected on a scramble in front. He was assisted o Read more»

1999 Draft: Report Cards (Progress Report)

by Jake Dole
on
The 1999 draft offered solid depth of Russian, Belorussian and Kazakhstan-born prospects. Although there was no clear-cut future superstar from Russia, plenty of players with unlimited potential were drafted. Youngsters like Koltsov and Kuleshov all offered exceptional pure offensive skills, though neither showed signs of performing consistently. It is safe to say that GM’s crossed their fingers and swallowed hard before each selection.
Out of the few well scouted names, Denis Shvidki suffered a recession in value. Previously a potential top-10er, Denis fell to number 12 at draft time. Konstantin Koltsov and Mikhail Kuleshov were surprise selections in the eyes of many. Although neither displayed great finishing ability to compliment their raw skills, the two stickhandlers became potential first-round jackpots. Giant Alexei Semenov showed little on-ice results up to the draft, but was swapped largely due to his size and toughness.
The consensus opinion among the General Managers was, “let’s wait 2 or 3 years and then we’ll see”. Ironically enough, 2+ years later, many teams are still waiting for progress from some members of the 1999 draft class. Hopes are still high on many fronts, but thus far results have not been astounding.

11th overall: Oleg Saprykin. LW/C. 6’0, 190. 1981-02-12. (Calgary Flames)

Plus: Saprykin plays a fearless, intense style of hockey. A great skater, he has great hands and first-line scoring potential. Oleg doesn’t shy away from contact and is sound at both ends of the ice, as indica Read more»

Islanders: The Tale of Five Goalies

by Jeff Klein
on
This season’s training camp at Lake Placid, NY is an all-out battle of men hungry for jobs and a place in that “dream” game. There is almost nothing more pure in the world. The situation is set up for a fall of three, but here we have the tale of five goalies.

First, there are five capable people in the mix, though some are greener than others.

Echoes of Philadelphia’s import Roman Cechmanek are waived at us through the media. Dusan Salficky is the first guy since Tommy Salo was exiled to Edmonton to bring international experience in net for the Islanders. This slippery net-minder played the typical Czech sprawled out style, and was 10th overall with 2.63 goals against, after 52 contests in the Czech Republic Extraleague. At 27, this Long Island hopeful is a big question mark. He raises the bar significantly.

The first to feel this could be Rick D. He had his fair share of bumps and bruises last year in white, blue and orange. Considering the company that has been invited to camp, one has to believe that Rick D. will be ushered intentionally to their minor league affiliate. Though he was impressive most of the time, his weak 5-hole and concentration lapses are signs of needed seasoning.

Stephen Valiquette has been a pleasant surprise, though he could be viewed as a long shot at the moment considering his competition. Stephen is a large man at 6’5”, and obviously keeps himself light at 212 pounds. Islander fans in general like this guy as he represents the hard Read more»

Ott-Fla Rookie game recap

by HF Staff
on

HULL, Quebec – The four-team 2001 NHL prospects tournament began on Wednesday at the Robert-Guertin Arena just outside of Ottawa. The Ottawa Senators defeated the Florida Panthers 5-1 by scoring the game’s final five goals. RW Josh Langfeld and LW Alexandre Giroux each scored a pair of goals for the Senators. C Mike Green tallied the lone Panthers goal. G Davis Parley made 27 saves for Florida, while G Ray Emery stopped 15 shots for Ottawa. The Senators held a 32-16 shot advantage. Ottawa was 1-for-11 on the power play.

The Panthers failed to score on all five of their power play chances. Florida played the final two periods of the game with just four defensemen after D Vladimir Sapozhnikov (right shoulder injury) and D Michel Periard (headache from hit from behind) left the game due to injury. RW David Morisset, acquired from the St. Louis Blues in a trade for RW Scott Mellanby last February, was named the player of the game for Florida. He registered an assist and eight hits in the game. The round robin tournament will continue on Thursday with the Panthers taking on Montreal at 4:30 PM. Ottawa faces off against Phoenix in the late game at 7:30 PM.

FIRST PERIOD: C Mike Green opened the scoring just five minutes into the contest connecting on the Panthers second shot of the game. Morisset recorded an assist and a team-high four hits in the period. Ottawa tied the score on a shorthanded unassisted goal when Giroux tallied with 11:01 gone in the period. The Panthers outshot the Senators, 8-6.

SECOND PERIOD: Ottawa scored the Read more»

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