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.

 

IHL Rookie – Jeff Heerema

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL ROOKIE PROFILE

Player:   Jeff Heerema
Birthday: January 17, 1980
Hometown: Thunder Bay, Ontario
Height:   6' 1"
Weight:   190 lbs
Shoots:   Right
Position: Right Wing

Season   Team          Lge  GP  G   A  Pts  PIM
1997-98  Sarnia Sting  OHL  63  32  40  72   88
1998-99  Sarnia Sting  OHL  62  31  39  70   113
1999-00  Sarnia Sting  OHL  67  36  41  77   62
2000-01  Cincinnati    IHL  34  7    7  14   24
Jeff was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 1st round (11th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. Jeff is an excellent skater who has a great shot and the ability to put the puck in the net. Has a sense where his teamates are at all time. Reads plays and sees the ice well. Jeff must learn that in the pro leagues, consistency and playing without the puck are essential. Maybe a season or two away from making the big team but when he does Hurricane management think Jeff can make a big contribution to the team.

TONIGHT IN THE IHL


Cleveland Lumberjacks  3
Utah Grizzlies         4
John Purves scored the game-winning goal early in the third period to rally the Utah Grizzlies past the Cleveland Lumberjacks, 4-3. Purves’ goal 6:20 into the third period broke a 3-3 tie and was the fourth unanswered goal scored by Utah after Cleveland took a 3-0 lead midway through the second frame. Ryan Christie scored Utah’s first goal with 4:56 remaining in the second period and Steve Gainey scored just 28 seconds later to make the score 3-2. Pat Neaton tied the game at 3-3 5:11 int Read more»

Hometown Boy

by pbadmin
on
Every kid growing up thinks about playing for his favorite team while playing street hockey or watching them from the stands but very few receive such a gift.
Well the three year deal at nine million which includes incentives is the belated christmas present Mike Comrie has been waiting for since he was drafted in the fourth round 91st overall in the 1999 draft.

The majority of the incentives could be picked up in the second and third years of the contract which will be cheques Kevin Lowe would love to sign because it means his search for a second line center will be over. Future success now lies in Comrie’s hands and how quickly he adapts to the National Hockey League coming from the the Western Hockey League and U.S. College Hockey. However the impact in Mike’s development will come from Doug Weight’s mentorship and guidance over the second half of this season.

The similarities on the ice are sometimes uncanny and it is like watching Dougie play his first season in New York. Subtle body movements each make against defenders and the knack for finding the open man are attributes both players possess, but will the master teach the apprentice all his tricks remains to be seen.
At this point in time Comrie could not have stumbled onto a more perfect opportunity in that he will play for a team who’s style is complimentary to his skills and attitude, the door is virtually wide open to make place for himself in the line up.

In retrospect the decision to leave Michigan University and play for the Kootenay Ice this year may have benefited his gam Read more»

Cherneski calls it quits

by Michael Theodore
on

Cherneski calls it quits

A promising young career came crashing to an end as the year 2001 hit when Rangers prospect Stefan Cherneski called it quits after trying to battle back from a serious knee injury. Simply put it was a career ended before it could fully get started and an example of just how hard it truly is to make it to the big show.

A first round pick back in 1997, Stefan had all the makings of a solid, if not star winger for the Rangers. A physical force with skills he was projected as a player part John LeClair and part Adam Graves, he would become neither. A devastating knee injury two years ago put Stefan’s career on hold and though for a while it seemed hopeful he would make it, in the end there was no happy ending. Missing two whole seasons would throw anyone’s career off a cliff but it was Stefan’s heart and soul that lead many to believe that maybe, just maybe he could make it.

Though he trained hard, the lost development time proved too much to overcome and Stefan decided he should take a 2 million dollar insurance option and move on. Though his playing days are done, Stefan’s legacy may just be the work ethic he instilled in blue chipper Pavel Brendl who worked harder then ever before in his life this past summer with Cherneski and winger Adam Graves. So though there will be no 35 goal, 140 pim seasons from Stefan we might want to send him a thanks if Brendl ever becomes the 40 or 50 goal sniper scouts believe he can be.

Lundmark: Destination the Show
Read more»

Baby Rangers Looking to Move Up

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

The Wolf Pack of Hartford, Connecticut are also struggling thanks to a myriad of injuries and call ups and to yet stiffer competition but there are some bright spots in Hartford.

THE SCORING: AHL journeyman Derek Armstrong who was so close to signing a contract to play in Europe to start the season is the Pack`s leading scorer with 14 goals and 44 points through 36 games. Brad Smyth continues to hit the net with 26 goals and 40 points through 36 games while center Mike Harder has registered 10 goals in 33 games. Mike Mottau leads the way on defense with 5 goals and 21 points while fan favorite Kenny Gernander with 7 goals and 20 points lead the way. Looking through the roster…defender Burke Henry continues to play better hockey registering a tough 87 penalty minutes, 4 goals and 14 assists. Newcomer Jeff Ulmer(7-10-17) and veteran Tony Tuzzolino(7-9-16)have also been noteables. Veteran defender Drew Bannister (4-14-18) has been positive. Ryan Bast acquired waivers from the New York Islanders started out quickly but then has down a major slump registering only one goal in 29 games.

THE NETS: Have seen many pucks this year due to the call ups and injuries to Jason Doig but Vitali Yeremeyev (6-5-1 1.94gaa 2sho) has shined in the pipes. With the bright play of Vitali, Swedish import Johan Holmqvist has posted (10-5-2 2.71 1sho) totals.

OTHER NEWS AND NOTES: The Pack have struggled a bit this year at the gate average just over 6000 per game. For those who would wish to catch a glimpse of a few prospects take the trip up to Hartford for Read more»

Tech makes statement at GLI, despite loss to MSU in title

by Derek Berry
on
They came so close. As in one goal, one period, one shot from glory
that this Michigan Technological University hockey team and 15 or 16
others have never known…the glory of a Great Lakes Invitational title.

Perhaps one shot could have gone their way in a thrilling overtime match with the No. 1 ranked Michigan State Spartans, but that was not the case, as MSU collected their fourth consecutive GLI championship with a 3-2 OT win over the Huskies.

The loss was devastating for the young team, only because they had done so well all weekend, beating one of the top five teams in the nation (handing No. 4 Michigan their worst loss in the GLI and maybe anytime in the recent past with a 7-3 pasting in the first round) and outplaying the Spartans in the tournament final.

These Huskies made a major statement and were looking to start a streak that MSU and U-M have had ahold of for the last decade or so…at least since those outstanding John MacInnes-coached MTU teams that won five consecutive GLI titles from 1976-1980 and nine GLI championships total from the late 1960′s until 1980.

In fact, the Huskies hadn’t even appeared in the GLI final since 1991. This group of Michigan Tech hockey players rose to the occasion and played like champions all the way through.

MTU head coach Mike Sertich called the weekend a major steppingstone for the program.

“This is a process that a program takes to become a top-notch college hockey program,” said Sertich, who replaced fired head coach Tim Watters in November. “Commitment is po Read more»