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.

 

The Lewiston Rocket?

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis
on

After only one year of existence, the Montreal Rocket has accumulated a deficit of 800,000$; and the low attendance has put pressure on the owners to find alternatives. The Montreal Rocket is currently in negotiations that would allow them to move in the Molson Centre, something the president of the team, Mario Messier, has called a “last resort” change for the franchise.

Junior Hockey struggles in Montreal
The
Montreal Rocket is not the first QMJHL located in the Montreal area that is having difficulties with attendances and survival. Previous teams located in
Verdun, Laval or Longueil all had similar problems in the past, and none of
them has survived to this day. If the Montreal Rocket cannot redress the situation
in the Molson Centre, they could be forced to move to a new location. Since
the last QMJHL expansions have developped most available markets in the province
of Quebec and in the Maritimes, the franchise could go south of the boarder.

The Lewiston Rocket? Read more»

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

A new angle on the Lindros stalemate: Veteran hockey writer Al Strachan of the Toronto Sun (January 29th) offered an interesting solution to the Lindros deadlock this week … he hypothesized that the Maple Leafs might obtain Eric Lindros for as little as two first-round draft picks … this price would be based upon an offer sheet that starts relatively low but increases with the number of games played … the Leafs could put together a contract paying Lindros $1.4 million a year for three years … bonus clauses that would pay him $1 million for every 10 games and $600,000 at the end of the season would also be included … the total package represent a total of $10 million over a full season – but with only the base salary guaranteed … under the terms of the current collective bargaining agreement, this would be a legal contract … although a team is forbidden from starting at $10 million and working down, there is nothing that prevents starting at $1.4 million and working up … the attraction of this arrangement is that, because the guaranteed salary in the deal is relatively low, the compensation required is correspondingly small … at the $1.4M level, the Leafs would have to surrender only two first-round picks instead of the five usually needed to acquire a player of Lindros’ calibre … the catch, of course, is that the Flyers would have Read more»

Rangers Update: Ulmer, Malhotra and Kloucek Sent Down

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Today the Rangers have announced that forwards Jeff Ulmer and Manny Malhotra, along with defenseman Tomas Kloucek have been re-assigned to the Hartford Wolf Pack of the AHL to get some playing time during the NHL All-Star break. It is expected that all three will be called up early next week.

Ulmer made his NHL debut last night and played on the 1st line with Mark Messier and Adam Graves. Ulmer impressed me a lot with his hard work and great speed. He definitely has the wheels to survive in the NHL. He has good vision on the ice and I can’t remember him making one mistake last night in the Rangers 4-2 win over Montreal. Malhotra has been little-used over the last week, being a healthy scratch in some games. He only got 1 minute and 22 seconds of ice time last night. He currently has 2 goals and 2 assists in 21 games this season.

Kloucek heads back to Hartford with 1 goal in 22 NHL games. I really like this kid and I can see him becoming a dominant force on our blueline for a long time. He’s an extremely strong player. Last night he leveled Montreal’s Eric Landry in center ice, causing Landry to miss the rest of the game. I’m not sure what the injury was, but I think I remember hearing Landry suffered a fractured nose. He was bleeding a lot on the bench after the hit. Kloucek has made a couple mistakes this season, but with more playing time he will improve. He has played with a lot of different defenseman, including a couple of games where he paired up with Brian Leetch. He has currently been playing with Kim Johnsson to form a solid pair. At only 20 years old, Read more»

New York Islanders Prospect Report

by Drew Bennett
on

Brian Collins (Center, 20)- The Boston University sophomore is having a good
year for the Terriers, in which he has 7 goals, 15 points, and 14 penalty
minutes. The 6’1, 190 pound center has had 5 of his 7 goals on the power
play.


Rick DiPietro
(Goaltender, 19)- The first overall pick in the 2000 draft
recently mad his NHL debut in a 2-1 loss on January 27th to the Buffalo
Sabers. He notched an assist on a Dave Scatchard goal, and showed solid play
during the game. General Manager Mike Milbury said that DiPietro will spend
the rest of the season with the big club. He represented Team USA in the
World Junior Championships and in six games, DiPietro went 5-1 with a 1.33
goals against average and a .927 save percentage.


Justin Mapletoft
(Center, 20)- Mapletoft is having a outstanding year with
the Red Deer Rebels in the WHL. In 47 games, Mapletoft has had 24 goals, 77
points, and 81 penalty minutes. Throughout the season, Mapletoft has been in
the top ten in WHL scoring.


Kristofer Ottosson
(Right Wing, 24)- This year Ottosson is playing with
Djurgardens in the Swedish Elite League. This year Ottosson, in 37 games,
has 16 goals and 36 points, with12 penalty minutes.


Raffi Torres
(Left Wing, 19)- The 5th overall selection in the 2000 draft,
Torres has been lighting up the lamp with Brampton Battalion in the OHL. In
37 games, Torres has 22 goals, 23 assists, for a total of 45 points. After
almost making the pro club out of training camp, Torres is a great candidate
for the Read more»

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