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.

 

Czech NHL rookies – Petr Svoboda

by Robert Neuhauser
on
When you see the Toronto Maple Leafs hit the ice, some players can’t be overseen due to their size. One of them is Petr Svoboda, the 20-year old rookie hailing from the Czech Republic. How difficult was his way into the world’s best league?

It was almost sure that Petr will be hockey player someday. He was born 06-20-1980 as a son of one of the top deensemen in Czechoslovakia, Radoslav Svoboda. In the early 80′s was Radoslav Svoboda a regular with the National team and played a solid defensive game. On that day Petr couldn’t know, but as time passed by, he realized this fact and began to watch his father playing games. Petr loved hockey since he was born. He loved it even more in the spring of 1985, when the Czechoslovakian squad won the World Championship in front of the excited Czechoslovakian people in Prague. There he could see his father with a gold medal around his neck. He could be proud, but it was time to start a hockey career of his own. The little Petr was brought to the team of HC Dukla Jihlava, where he took his first strides. The coaches decided that the tall Petr will be playing defense and Petr wanted to be just like his dad, so everything was OK. Dad taught Petr all the basic skills and gave him all the tips how to improve his game. Quite good to get tips from a world champion, eh? This payed immediate dividends as Petr developed into one of the most feared defensemen among the Czech kids. The now retired dad followed his practices and Petr was willing to listen to the advices. Besides, he always worked on to be in a good physical shape and ha Read more»

Rangers News on Malhotra, Novak and More!

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Novak Not Going to WJC: Rangers defensive prospect Filip Novak will not be playing for the Czech Republic at this years World Junior Championships, as he is having problems with his former Czech team. According to what is being said, when Novak first left the Czech Republic for the Regina Pats last year, he left without permission and that has caused a problem with his former Czech team, which in some way they are not letting him play in the WJC. I suppose Rangers’ assistant GM Don Maloney didn’t know of the situation as he said on TV earlier in the year that Novak will be playing ;) . However, Pavel Brendl will be on the Czech team and will look to make a name for himself, if he hasn’t done so already.

The Sophomores: How good have Mike York, Jan Hlavac and Kim Johnsson been for the Rangers this season? They have all been playing key roles on the team this year. Johnsson is the 3rd/4th defenseman, York the 3rd line center, but has been playing on the 1st PP and PK units, and Jan Hlavac has been playing 2nd line LW with Petr Nedved and Radek Dvorak. York has been a superb player for the Rangers, as his name has always come up in the press. Mark Messier, Theo Fleury, Ron Low and everyone else on the Rangers have said nothing but great things about York. He should continue to be a great two way center. Hlavac is on pace to score about 25 goals this year, and he will be a consistent 30 goal scorer in the NHL. While many Rangers fans have proposed trade offers with his name included, I don’t see any way Sather can trade Hlavac. He is not only g Read more»

Czechs invite 8 CHL players to WJC camp

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The Czech WJC camp opened yesterday, on Sunday, Dec. 10th, in Havlickuv Brod and this time coaches Jaroslav Holik and Pavel Hynek invited 8 CHL players. In the past years there were trouble with the Czech Ice Hockey Federation, which wanted to select only players playing in Europe. This should force the prospects to stay at home and not to leave for North America. But those teams struggled and so Jaroslav Holik had a chance to invite 5 CHL players last year. And those guys led the Czech team to a victory! So the limit of maximum 5 CHL players looked a bit out of place. It was dismissed and this year are 8 CHL players supposed to take part in the WJC. They could be nine, but Regina Pats’ defenseman and New York Rangers draft choice Filip Novak wasn’t allowed to start at the WJC by his parent Czech team HC Ceske Budejovice by this time and it looks like he won’t participate. That’s because he left for the Pats even if his team didn’t give him pemission to do so. But this year’s team includes for the first time two players, who had a taste of the NHL before they started at the WJC. These two are Jakub Cutta who spent 3 games with the Washington Capitals and Rostislav Klesla, a Columbus Blue Jacket, who even scored a goal in the NHL. So who are the CHL invitees?

Defensemen

Rostislav Klesla (Brampton Battalion, OHL
NHL draft: Columbus Blue Jackets)

No doubt about this guy. The first ever draft choice of the Blue Jackets will be the anchor of the defense. A rugged offensive defenseman likes to punish the players in front of h Read more»

Rangers Weekly Prospect Update

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Week Of 12/2 to 12/9

Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Pavel Brendl  Calgary   WHL    26  29  23  52   24   21

This Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 4 PIM, -2


Player           Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Jamie Lundmark  Seattle   WHL    19  15  17   32  19  +1

This Week: 3 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 P, 0 PIM, Even


Player         Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Filip Novak   Regina    WHL    31  11  22  33   32   11

This Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 2 A, 2 P, 2 PIM, -1


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Garret Bembridge  Saskatoon  WHL    32  23  20  43   12   -7

This Week: 3 GP, 2 G, 2 A, 4 P, 0 PIM, -1


Player             Team       League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Evgeny Gusakov   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL    30   9   18   27  64  +4

This Week: 5 GP, 2 G, 6 A, 8 P, 4 PIM, +5


Player             Team      League   GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Premsyl Duben   Baie-Comeau   QMJHL    23  0   7   7  24  -5

This Week: 3 GP, 0 G, 0 A, 0 P, 0 PIM, Even


Player            Team      League  GP  G  A   P  PIM  +/-
Nathan Martz  New Hampshire  HE     14  1  5   6    8   -1

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


Player              Team    League  GP   G   A   P  PIM  +/-
Patrick Aufiero   Boston U.   HE   13    1  Read more»

Finnish prospects update

by Mikko Vuori
on

If you think someone is missing, feel free to ask for them to be added to update.

Stats: position, name, games, goals, assists, points, plus/minus andpenalty minutes

W Teemu Elomo 30 1+ 6= 7 +4 34

Dallas 1997 pick, speedy winger Teemu Elomo
has had problems with scoring. Only
one goal in 30 games in not what coach
Jortikka is expenting from him.

D Ray Giroux 22 3+ 9=12 +1 34

Inlanders’ Ray Giroux started season in IFK
Helsinki. He suffered from wrist injury,
and was not able to play as well as can.
Giroux plays now for AIK in Sweden.

W Niklas Hagman 30 15+ 6=21 -2 24

Florida procpect Hagman uses his speed
and good shot to score. He is still quite one
dimensional player.

W Jukka Hentunen 30 9+14=23 +3 18

Calgary 2000 6th round pick Hentunen
had a slow star with Jokerit, but
after great performance in Finnish national team
he started to score also in SM-liiga.

F Mikael Holmqvist 27 2+ 3= 5 0 8

Holmqvist was not able to practis at summer
because of a injury. He hasn’t been able
to take a step to next level with his game.

W Hannes Hyvönen 30 9+ 6=15 +1 20

Sharks late round pick Hannen Hyvönen
has started to play hockey instead
of taking bad penalties. He could
reach 20 goals.

C Niko Kapanen 30 4+12=16 1 10 Read more»