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.

 

IHL: Wolves are Team to Beat

by Parker Neale
on
The games aren’t won on paper; they are contested on the ice.
Therefore, it would be extremely arrogant to announce the Turner Cup
champion for the 2000-2001 season after only a few games have been
played. The only proclamation that can be made at this point in time is
that it is going to be very difficult for opponents to beat the Chicago
Wolves this season as they aim to win their third championship in four
years.

To start off with, the Wolves are oozing with experience from all levels
of professional hockey. There are only three players on the opening day
roster that have never competed in an NHL game; this includes the
youngsters Rick DiPietro, who has only played one year of college hockey
and Peter Nylander, who is playing in North America for the first time.
The third player, defenceman Bob Nardella is a veteran with loads of
professional hockey experience on this continent as well as abroad. The
other seventeen players have played an astounding three thousand, four
hundred and eighty-four NHL games between them. And, twelve of the
twenty players are age thirty or older. Such experience will go a long
way in an IHL campaign.

Up front, the Wolves are able to combine skill and grit. Jesse
Belanger, Guy Larose and Peter Nylander are mainly pure offensive
performers that can deliver on a consistent basis. Neil Brady, Glen
Featherstone, Mark Lawrence and Dan Plante are able to provide a Read more»

New Guns on the Hitmen

by pbadmin
on
One Oilers whom has stepped up his offensive production is second year winger Shawn Norrie who was drafted by Edmonton in the sixth round this year. At 6-2/185 his has the size to be an effective third line checker with some offensive capabilities in the Ethan Moreau or Josh Green mold.

In the first 7 games with the Calgary Hitmen of the WHL, he has amassed 3 goals and 4 assists while adding 17 minutes in penalties. Has shown the willingness to fight and play tough along the boards and crash the net with out fear. At this current rate Shawn will score 30 goals and 40 assists with 170 penalty minutes which is a huge increase over last seasons 12 goals and 13 assists and 94 penalty minutes over 67 games.

With the extra playing time in all situations this season an improvement in his offensive and defensive awareness should propel him to top of the scoring leaders on his team. His gritty play and tenacity are a welcome addition to the roster which has a few rookies this year and his style of play and leadership by example are a much needed commodity.

The coaching staff has given him the new responsibilities and he is beginning to flourish and he may become a steal in the draft for the Edmonton Oilers scouting staff if his play continues and he develops into a solid winger at the next level. If he progresses at this pace for the next couple years and models his play after Moreau and Mike Grier it will not be a surprise to see Shawn sporting an Oilers jersey in the near future.

Flyers Junior and European Update

by Bill Meltzer
on

Here is the latest news on Flyers affiliated players in junior, college, and European hockey:

Canadian Junior Hockey

Guillaume Lefebvre: Lefebvre, who bounced around the Q last season, seems to have found a home in Rouyn. Through 10 games, the center has 10 points (2 goals; 1 powerplay, 1 shorthanded). He is getting steady ice-time.

Jeff Feniak: The big defenseman has been solid in his own end of the ice. He has also played physically- something he has to do to be successful. He has only one point (a goal) on the season but he will never be someone who can be tracked by points. More importantly, he has 30 penalty minutes and a +6 rating for Tri-City.

U.S. College Hockey

John Eichelberger: Did not play in the Wisconsin season opener. Started but did not score in their second game.

Colin Shields: Looking for ice time with U of Maine in the early season.

SM-Liiga

Antero Niitymäki: Continues to be the most exciting Flyers prospect outside of the North American pros. Came in the last TPS game (a convincing loss against Jokerit) in relief of Fredrik Norrena. Niittymäki may get the start in TPS’s road game tonight against Tappara. For the season, Niitymäki has appeared in all or parts of 5 games, recording a shutout, a 1.85 goals against average, and .925 save percentage.

Read more»

Rangers Kids Not Their Own

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
With the hopes of a new season to lighten the eyes of the Manny Malhotras, Pavel Brendls and Derek Armstrongs of the world, Glen Sather orchestrated some deals to make the Rangers younger, bigger, and hungrier. However, this was done done via the additions of Dale Purinton and Johan Witehall, but the move of Stephane Quintal (much to the delight of Rangers fans) “in theory via waivers” for Brad Brown and Michal Grosek.

While the move makes the Rangers a better team, it sends tremors down the spine of the Rangers infrastructure. Players such as Purinton and Witehall are deserving as any to be in the NHL, but again have not been afforded the chance to make the show.

In the case of Lundmark and Brendl, neither showed up to play everyday and if not for Brendl’s big game to close the preseason, the entire camp would have been a wash. Mike Mottau, who so many decided was “on the team,” was dispatched to Hartford much like the rider after the initial engagement at Lexington and Concord. Mottau responded by having a rough opening act in the AHL.
Read more»

ICE Home Opener This Week/ Rumours Abound

by Jeff Bromley
on
It’s been thirteen months in the construction stage, seven years in the developmental, planning, referendum and hoping stage and ten long 2000-01 regular season games in the waiting, but the opening day of Cranbrook’s Recreational Complex is finally upon us.

The $22.6 million, 4268 seat facility will host its first event Friday as the 2001 Memorial Cup host Regina Pats are in town to face the Kootenay ICE. The ICE, who finished up a monster ten game road trip to begin the season a very satisfying 7-0-1-1 (before Wednesday’s game against the Hurricanes) will have little time to get used to their new digs as the club will have a one practice in the new facility on Thursday before facing the Pats the next night. After Friday’s tilt against the Pats, Saturday is ‘Raise the Banner’ night when division rival Calgary Hitmen are in Cranbrook. Tickets for both games are going fast and are available by phoning 426-SEAT.
Read more»