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.

 

Loose Pucks

by Ron Valerino
on

PITTSBURGH FORGE NAHL JUNIOR A …… NEWS :
Find all the info you need on Pittsburgh’s new Junior A team at:
http://www.pittsburghforge.com/ Read more»

Interview with Brian Sutherby

by Robert Neuhauser
on

One of the top Canadian players at the WJC in the Czech Republic was Moose Jaw Warriors forward
Brian Sutherby. The Washington Capitals prospect had a taste of the NHL at the very beginning
of this season. After that he was sent to the Moose Jaw Warriors again but is still a player
to count on in the Capitals future.

When did you start playing hockey?

This was when I was about four years old. I started skating and soon after that also
play hockey.

Where did you start playing the game?

I was born in Edmonton and this was the place where I started playing.

Who brought you to the game?

My dad, he loves the game very much even if he didn’t play. He taught me skating and gave
me the first tips.

Your favorite NHL team?

Before I was drafted by the Washington Capitals it was the Edmonton Oilers team. As an Edmonton
native I was a big Oilers fan, but now definitely a Washington Capitals fan.

What is your biggest success in hockey so far?

Playing the first NHL game was an unbelievable feeling, something I never forget. Definitely
my biggest success, it’s a dream coming true. The second thing would be making the
Canadian WJC team and the silver medal we won in the Czech Republic.

But how did you feel when you were sent to the Moose Jaw Warriors after the first NHL
games?

It was very tough for me, I wanted to stay for the whole season, of course. But now I have
a clear goal, to get back as soon as I can. I just have to keep working, things will work
out then.

Read more»

Albany Week in Review

by Mike Buskus
on

Third-year defenseman, Andre Lakos, is now with the Utah Grizzlies. In exchange, the Devils obtained veteran forward, Vareri Kamensky from the Dallas Stars. Since the Devils have had goal-scoring problems, the acquisition of the forward who bagged 38 goals (1995-96) and wears a Stanley Cup ring (same year with Colorado), might bolster the New Jersey offense. (Cynics would point to his less-than-stellar record with the New York Rangers, but optimists would point out that Kamensky had injuries the last few years.)

Lakos, a big (6’6″, 240#) defenseman, has NHL potential. In his first two years in Albany, a shoulder injury diminished some of his effectiveness. Generally steady on the blue line and good at reading plays, Lakos has been reliable on defense. Last season, he won the plus/minus award in the league for one month (at +13).

The one element of Lakos’ game which never quite developed, and which might eventually surface, is physical play. For a big and strong kid, he hesitated to hammer opposing forwards into the boards. Checks were more like bumps into other passengers on the subway instead of “get out of my way, bozo” that, for example, Colin White says to opponents with his shoulder.

Shortly after the Lakos trade (in which the Devils also agreed to give Dallas the ill-defined “future considerations”), New Jersey inked former Hartford Wolf*Pack defenseman Benjamin Carpentier (then on a professional tryout contract) to a season-long deal in Albany.

With Lakos gone, the Rats temporarily called up Lucas Nehrling, playing with the Adi Read more»

ECHL All-Star Game Report

by Steve Feldman
on

Trenton, NJ – The ECHL All-Stars took the ice on Tuesday night. In the skills competition the night before the Southern Conference dominated. The two teams were evenly matched in the first period, while the Southern Conference dominated the second and the Northern Conference made their comeback in the third period, but fell short.

The two teams were evenly matched and that shod in the opening period with each team scoring once. The goaltenders both played a strong period turning away 15 shots and allowing one goal each. Frederic Cloutier from the Louisiana Ice Gators was representing the Southern Conference and Chris Sanford of the Peoria Rivermen represented the Northern Conference.

The South was the first team to score; it came at the 9:17 mark when Mat Snesrud of the Columbus Cottonmouths scored with help from Mikko Sivonen of the New Orleans Brass and Steve Rymsha of the Greensville Grrrowl. With under a left to play in the opening period the North tied the game when Preston Mizzi of the Dayton Bombers scored. Arvid Rekis from the Peoria Rivermen and Lars Pettersen from the Richmond Renegades picked up the assists.

In the second period it was South that picked up the pace. With Joel Laing from the Wheeling Nailers in net for the North and Chris Madden from Macon Whoopee in net for the South it was the South that outscored the North and took a 4-2 lead after periods.

The South had the first three goals of the period, was Greg Pankewicz of the Pensacola Ice Pilots, with the assists coming from Allan Sirois of Pee Dee Pride and Louis Read more»

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