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.

 

Toronto’s Keys to Success – Part 1

by Randy Nicholson
on
This is the first in a two part series providing a detailed look at players who will determine Toronto’s destiny in 2000 / 2001. For the purposes of this discussion, superstars (Sundin, Joseph) and dependable veterans (Thomas, Yushkevich, Domi, Perreault etc.) have been excluded. These articles will focus on players whose contributions have yet to be established over the long term. If a majority of the players listed herein can rise to new levels this season, the Leafs will do battle with perennial powerhouses in Detroit, Dallas, Denver, St. Louis, Philadelphia and New Jersey for league dominance. Conversely, if they fail to step forward sufficiently, the team may once again fall short of its Stanley Cup aspirations.

This week we’ll examine a group of returning players and next week the spotlight will swing over to several key newcomers.
Read more»

Swedish Hockey 101

by Peter Westermark
on
If you know the basic facts regarding the structure of Swedish clubs – stop
reading now. If you don´t, you might learn something new.

Most teams started as non-profit organizations as a way to get people living
in the area interested and active in sports. The only thing one had to do to
become a member of the club was to pay a small fee to enter. The active
members elected a board that should run the club. This structure is still
common in Sweden, although the importance of money in hockey has grown. The
structure of most major clubs are similar to the structure of most
companies, although hockey is not a profit oriented business designed to
please an owner or a group of owners. Teams can not be sold or moved.

Some clubs are even introducing themselves at the stock exchange, turning
themselves into a profit-oriented business. The thinking behind the
metamorphosis is that teams have to have a sound economy if they want to be
successful in the Elitserien, although this sounds pretty ironic considering
the vast amount of Swedish clubs that are in debt.

One key source of revenue is local businesses as they supply sponsoring and
advertise on boards and jerseys. Teams whose Elitserien status can be
attributed to having a large company in the town include MoDo, who has even
assumed the name of the company, and Luleå, who is heavily sponsored by
SSAB(Swedish Steel).
Read more»

Whatever happened to Jared Hope?

by pbadmin
on

I know that most of you are saying – Jared who?style=”mso-spacerun: yes”>  Unless you follow the Western Hockey League,
you probably don’t know much about him. 
Jared Hope was the Leafs final draft choice (230th overall)
in the 1996 Draft.  Jared had played
that season with the Spokane Chiefs and suffered two serious head injuries.

< ![if !supportEmptyParas]> < ![endif]>

On September 27, 1995 in a game versus the Kelowna Rockets,
Hope was knocked unconscious, taken to the hospital and diagnosed with a
concussion.  Twenty-four days later,
Hope played again for the Rockets after recovering from the injury.style=”mso-spacerun: yes”>  In that game versus the Tri-City Americans,
Hope suffered another blow to the head that would put his playing career in
jeopardy.  Hope did play briefly the
next year (1996-97) with the Edmonton Ice but his career was essentially over.

< ![if !supportEmptyParas]> < ![endif]>

Hope was once considered one of the brightest of WHL
prospects.  He was drafted 3rd
overall in the 1993 WHL Draft.  Jared Read more»

Sedin’s the biggest show in town?

by pbadmin
on
With all of the press about the Sedin’s coming to Vancouver no one has
been thinking too much about some of the other talent in the Canucks
overfilled pool. Josh Holden, who was at one time Vancouver’s golden
boy, showed us he does have a solid future in the NHL, averaging a point
a
game in limited action. There also has not been too much mention about
Brent Sopel. Sopel was a late season call up who played like a seasoned
veteran. Sopel had a goal and two assists in the final game of last
season in the Canucks 5-2 upset of the playoff bound San Jose Sharks.
We also may see Bryan Allen show of the tools he is so blessed with.
Steve Kariya also showed promise. Somehow Marc Crawford did recognize
his excellent play, so he spent time in Syracuse where he had a
four-goal
game and was named rookie of the month.

Harold Druken showed promise in
limited action for Vancouver and was also named to the AHL All-Rookie
team. With the need of a veteran defenseman to add to the Canucks, we
may be seeing some of the young guns moving on to other cities but if
not the Canucks have a lot more weapons waiting in the wing than just
Daniel and Henrik Sedin. This will also help the Sedin’s out. It is a
lot easier for high caliber players to learn the game with top talent
around them. This is apparent in Peter Schaeffer, who obviously
benefited from the presence of the recently departed Mark Messier. There Read more»

IHL Teams Kept Busy

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
Since the 1999-2000 season ended IHL clubs have been busy bolstering their lineups and getting ready for the 2000-01 season. Here is a breakdown on what each club has been up to:

CHICAGO WOLVES: After winning their 2nd Turner Cup in three seasons, the Chicago management tandem of GM Kevin Cheveldayoff and Head Coach John Anderson, along with first team IHL All Star Steve Maltais have all re-signed with the Wolves for another season. Maltais captured the IHL scoring title last season with 44 goals, 46 assists for 90 points. Dave Mackey has called it quits after 14 seasons of professional hockey.

CINCINNATI CYCLONES: Head Coach/GM Ron Smith has re-signed with the club for another season. Goaltender Randy Petruk underwent surgery July 17th to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). He injured himself in an off-season training exercise. Petruk is expected to resume light skating in November and return to the club in late December or early January 2001. Four Cyclones from last season have re-signed with the parent Carolina Hurricanes, including Brian Felsner, Byron Ritchie, Shane Willis and Greg Koeheler.
Read more»