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.

 

Traverse City Wrap-up, Day 5

by Jessica Haskin
on

Columbus vs. St. Louis

The Columbus Blue Jacket’s and St. Louis Blues faced off for the final
game of the tournament to determine who would be the champions of the
week.
The Blue Jacket’s Pascal Leclaire and the Blues’ Phil Osaer were the
goalies for the night.

The first action to make the score sheets were penalties. Three were
handed out three minutes and twenty-one seconds into the game. Simon
Skoog of the Blues was sent to the box for roughing. St. Louis’ Mahon
and Columbus’ Tyler Sloan each received five minute fighting majors.
Sloan got a few good punches in with Mahon only punching him once to the
back of the head. Sloan was worn out at the end of a shift though and
went down fairly easily when Mahon wrestled him to the ice.

With Columbus already on the power play Brett Scheffelmaier got a delay
of game call giving the Blue Jackets a five-on-three advantage for
thirty-nine seconds.

Four seconds after St. Louis was allowed to have one of their men back
on the ice Columbus’ Preston Mizzi received the puck from Kiel McLeod
and lifted it over Osaer’s left shoulder.

Eleven minutes and fifty-four seconds into the period Ben Knopp was
called for tripping giving St. Louis a power play. Eight seconds into
the power play Greg Davis scored for St. Louis with an assist from Brad
Voth.

Mizzi went to the penalty box for holding giving St. Louis another power
play opportunity with five minutes and one second remaining in the first
period. Half way through the power play the Blues scored with a goal
from Read more»

Tampa Bay Lightning Training Camp Preview

by Megan Sexton
on

A growing number of Tampa Bay Lightning players, past and
present, have been accumulating in Brandon at the Ice Sports Forum, preparing
for training camp.  These morning scrimmages saw ex-bolt Rob Zamuner
paired with Free Agent signee, Dave Andreychuk, taking on prospect,
Evgeny Konstantinov
and Ryan Johnson, who was traded to Florida
during the off-season, skating one final time with his former teammates.

As entertaining as these practices were for those fortunate
enough to sneak out of the office for an early lunch…nothing compares to the
real thing.  The Tampa Bay Lightning will officially kick off the 2001-02
Pre-Season September 11, 2001, when players and invitees report to Brandon.

The first two days of camp will consist of physicals and
fitness tests.  The guys will hit the ice Thursday morning for the first
scrimmage game.  This year’s camp will be divided into two sections with the
NHLers in the mornings and the prospects in the afternoons.  This is a welcomed
change from last year’s format, which forced fans to run from rink to rink
during the simultaneous games in order to catch all the action.

Team 1 – Black Team

Fredrik Modin,
Brad Richards, Martin St. Louis, Juha Ylonen, Tim Taylor, Jimmie Olvestad,
Jassen Cullimore, Pavel Kubina, Nolan Pratt, Andrei Zyuzin, Mike Jones, Kevin
Weekes

Noticeably a Read more»

The Bud’s Future Power Supply

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

When Toronto used the last selection they had in the 2001 Entry Draft to select Mike Knoepfli from the OPJHL’s Georgetown Raiders most observers were divided equally into three groups: The ‘how do you spell it’s?’, the ‘how do you say it’s?’, and ‘the who the heck is he’s?’ (For the record it’s pronounced kuh-naw-flee). Granted the league in which the portsider played is not as visible and many will maintain not as competitive as the CHL, but there are many reasons to think the Leafs may have pulled a fast one on the rest of the league here.

Talking to Georgetown GM John (Jack) Moon, the one thing that comes through time and again is the fact that “Mike is an incredibly smart player”. While he has an array of tools at his disposal, it is the way he chooses to use them that is most impressive. In the passing game “he makes the smart, safe pass, but can also thread the needle when it’s there. His passes are very accurate, hard, and clean”. When in the corners “Mike possesses a variety of methods for winning battles and shifts easily from one to another. He can power over a player one time and finesse him the next. He has excellent footwork and 90% of the time will come away with the puck.”

However, as unselfish a player as Knoepfli might sound, his 45 goals in 47 games will attest that he is an established finisher both in close where he can use his 6’2″ 205 lb frame to his advantage or coming in from the wing. Moon points out that his charge “has an outstanding slapshot as well as a quick snapshot (and) will always go to the net on the rush.” Once there Read more»

“Big List” Week Starts Tommorow!

by Mark Fischel
on

The lists are completed, and we checked them at least 47 times to ensure their accuracy and completeness! At approximately 6:00 Eastern time, head over to the link called “2001 Top Prospects” on the top left of the page, to see the new lists as they are published.

This edition of the Top 50 Prospect lists will be a departure from what usually made up the top 50 prospects. Each player will have a profile on the final list, as well as their previous rankings from the last list, if applicable. Biggest risers and fallers will also be a new feature for your enjoyment.

So here is the schedule!

Mon, Sept 10th : Top 10 goalies

Wed, Sept 12th : Top 25 defenseman

Fri, Sept 14th : Top 25 Forwards

Mon, Sept 17th : Top 50 prospects

Wed, Sept 19th: Team Organizational rankings

Also being officially announced soon, increased coverage of the AHL in conjunction with our friends at the AHL report. The combined efforts of their great writers and Hockey’s Future will make this a one-stop place for all of your prospect and Minor-League coverage. Keep your eyes open for this exciting announcement!

Another new feature that is in the Top Features section is the “HF Player Interviews” which is the new home of all past and present interviews with hockey’s best prospects! Stay tuned all throughout the year for more exciting interviews, and if there is a particular player you want to see interviewed, drop me a line and we will try to make it happen

So with that being said, enjoy the “Big List” week and se Read more»

Florida Panthers Training Camp Preview

by Mark Fischel
on


Florida Panthers Training Camp Preview

For the first time in several years, the Florida Panthers are holding their training camp in their own home town. Looking to put last season’s miserable campaign behind them, a campaign that saw the departures of veterans Scott Mellanby, Ray Whitney, Todd Simpson, Rob Neidermayer, Mike Sillinger and Igor Larionov. With a turnover of nearly a quarter of their roster, the Panthers are giving new and hungry players a chance to turn the Panthers around. Coming to South Florida this year are Jason Weimer, Valeri Bure, Jeff Norton, Bernie Kosar, and the promise of several rookies who are anticipated to make the team. As Tool’s Maynard Keenan sings in the line “I know the pieces fit”, it will be up to the Panther coaching staff to make sure all the pieces fit.

Each position will be analyzed for the current mix of veterans and rookies that will be competing for the spots. Some positions will not have an opening available for some rookie to make the team and will rely on whatever veterans are available to fill in the roster. After each position is analyzed, I will make my “fearless prediction” on what rookies will make the team. My only disclaimer is that I reserve the right to be very wrong in these predictions and will ignore all mocking derisive comments that I probably will earn and deserve. So with that being said, onto the rosters!


Training Camp Rosters

Center: Olli Jokinen, Kevyn Adams, Ryan Johnson, Viktor Kozlov, Serge Payer, Nick S Read more»

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