Michael Neal


Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (149th overall), 2007


187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B


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.



Appears to be a fringe AHL player at this point and may spend another year in the ECHL while competing for AHL call-ups.


Rookies push for spots

by Andrew Clark

The pre-season is almost over and rookies are making things difficult for Larry Robinson and the rest of the coaching staff come decision time.

The New Jersey Devils have played five games against Atlantic Division foes thus far with only about two weeks remaining until the start of the season in Washington against Jaromir Jagr and the Capitals. During these games, a lot of new and young talented faces have laced up the skates and put on the red and black sweater, and all have impressed coach Larry Robinson in one way or another. Over the next week or so, Robinson and the rest of the staff are going to have to make some very difficult decisions on the open roster spots that were not filled via free agency over the summer. The Devils trimmed the roster to thirty-six over the weekend. Fifteen players were sent to the Albany River Rats and another six were re-assigned to their respective junior clubs. Those joining the Rats are forwards Scott Cameron, Brett Clouthier, Sylvain Cloutier, Ted Drury, Jason Lehoux, Carlyle Lewis, Richard Rochefort and Rob Skrlac with defensemen Daryl Andrews, Joel Dezainde, Alex Johnstone, Mikko Jokela, Andre Lakos, Lucas Nehrling and Victor Uchevatov. Those returned to the Canadian Junior Leagues are Phil Cole (Lethbridge, WHL), defenseman Deryk Engelland (Moose Jaw, WHL), right wing Robin LeBlanc (Baie-Comeau, QMJHL), center Warren McCutcheon (Lethbridge), center Brandon Nolan (Osahawa, OHL) and right wing Igor Pohanka (Prince Albert, WHL). Although most of these players did not see action, the ones who did took full advantage of Read more»

Flyers prospects in Europe (9/26/01 update)

by Bill Meltzer


Alexander Drozdetsky : Drozdetsky, who dazzled onlookers at the Flyers rookie camp in August, has been playing regularly for his club, CSKA Moscow (the former Red Army club). In the early going, CSKA is in 10th place in the 17 team Super League. Drozdetsky scored his first goal of the season on Monday; the game winner. On the young season, Drozdetsky has 2 points (1G, 1 A) and 2 PIM in 5 games.

Andrei Razin : Razin, who will turn 28 next month, was the RSL scoring champion last season. Like Drozdetsky, Razin is with a new team this season. Centering the top line for 4th place Dynamo Moscow, Razin has 3 points (1 goal) in his first five games. Razin, who has a reputation for being careless with his stick, also has 10 PIM.

Konstantin Rudenko : The Lokamotiv Yaroslavl winger has not played in a game. Lokamotiv is in 6th place currently.


Antero Niittymäki : Fredrik Norrena started the last game for defending champion TPS Turku, which has just a single win (Niittymäki’s shutout of SaiPa) to show for their first six games. In three appearances to date, Niittymäki has a 1.99 GAA and a .940 save percentage.

Marko Kauppinen : Kauppinen continues to struggle mightily in the early going. He was on the ice for all three goals against in TPS’ last game; a 3-0 blanking by league leading Tappara Tampere. In 6 games in the young season, Kauppinen is pointless and has a minus-six rating.

Jussi Timonen: No report.


Da Read more»

AHL Truly No.1 Developmental League

by Andrew Bourgeois


An expanded American Hockey League has entered a new era. There now are 27 teams, up from 20 following absorption of six clubs from the dissolved International Hockey League and addition of a new franchise, and the AHL’s status as the No. 1 developmental league for NHL-bound players has been accentuated by the demise of the IHL.

League president David Andrews is beaming as he awaits the opening Oct. 4 of the AHL’s 66th season. The AHL will have a Canadian Division comprised of the returning St. John’s Maple Leafs, Saint John Flames and Hamilton Bulldogs, as well as two clubs adopted from the IHL – the Manitoba Moose and the Quebec Citadelles.

The change in leagues will be a financial boon to the Moose, who now will travel in Canada instead of making extended trips into the United States as they did in their IHL days. Projected savings for the Moose are at least $250,000.

“It’s great for us,” says public relations director Matt Frost. “Before, we only had one direct flight, into Chicago. Now we can pretty much fly directly to most of our cities, plus we’ll be paying Canadian dollars now on many of our road trips. It will make a huge difference on our bottom line.”

Things are looking up on the ice as well. General manager Randy Carlyle used to piece together a lineup with free-agent signings and players assigned by a grab bag of NHL teams. He was an independent operator. Now he’s getting 15 of Vancouver’s top prospects in an arrangement to be the main Canucks farm club.

“We’re excited about it,” Carlyle says of the partne Read more»

Expanded Coverage Coming Soon to HF with the AHL REPORT!

by Mark Fischel

Hockey’s Future is pleased to announce that coming soon will be expanded coverage of the AHL. In a recent agreement with one of our affiliate sites, the AHL Report, they will be officially be joining Hockey’s Future in delivering news and analysis of the AHL.

You might have already seen some of the articles appearing on the main page of HF, and that will continue as well as the launching of the “AHL Report at Hockey’s Future”. The AHL Report will soon replace the AHL League page and will be similiar in appearance to the HF front page.

All AHL Teams will get their own team page, team editors and writers, depth charts, player profiles, and more! In conjunction with the NHL Editors and Writers, this agreement will only mean better analysis and news of all of your favorite teams prospects and AHL veterans.

To be added as well, will be featured columnists, AHL Power Polls, and more. If you have any ideas of what you would to see as well, drop me a line and let me know. All ideas will be considered.

With the AHL Report joining us, it gets us one step closer to giving the CHL teams the same treatment with individual team and league pages. Look for that to be HF’s goal for next year, along with increased draft coverage.

Thanks for reading and all comments are appreciated!

Mark Fischel
Managing Editor
Hockey’s Future

A Major Year for the Minors?

by HF Staff

A major year for the minors. That should be the new marketing slogan for the American Hockey League. The elaborate list of alterations both big and small, is a lengthy one for the League as it embarks on 2001/2002.

‘The’ League has absorbed 7 surviving franchises from the defunct International Hockey League. The AHL stands with somewhat open arms as Chicago, Utah, Cleveland, Houston, Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Manitoba are welcomed. How long before someone says “That’s not how it’s done in the ‘A’.”? It’s probably already happened. And the AHL had its own problems this past season losing two franchises in one state. The Louisville Panthers with parent Florida have sprinkled their prospects throughout the league. The other – the Kentucky Thoroughblades have relocated and reaffiliated in Cleveland. As always new additions via expansion, the Manchester and Bridgeport franchises. Last count 27 teams with designs on a total of 30 by the end of 2002/2003.

30 traditional “farm” teams will finally compete in one developmental league and ultimately, supply the 30 parent teams with the core of their teams over the next 5 to 10 years.

The Eastern Conference will now consist of three divisions (Canadian, East and the North). The Canadian and East divisions will house 5 teams with the North having 4 teams.

The Canadian Division contains the Hamilton Bulldogs, Manitoba Moose, Quebec Citadelles, Saint John Flames and the St.John’s Maple Leafs. All affiliations in this division remain all but the same as last season with the obvious i Read more»

Related Articles

Win a PlayStation 4 + a copy of NHL 16 from GameRevolution and Hockey's Future! Complete one or more of the action... in Contests on LockerDome