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.

 

Habs’ development camp continues

by Chris Boucher
on
The Canadiens’ rookie development camp continues under the watchful eye of Clement Jodoin. Weekend practices were up-tempo, and the players remain healthy despite an increase in physical play during most drills.

Goaltender Luc Belanger, who recently signed with Quebec, remains the best goalie in camp. Vadim Tarasov is rumoured to be arriving Monday morning. This should give onlookers a better opportunity to judge Belanger’s play, as the two goalies he currently runs drills with are younger and less experienced. Olivier Michaud is still only seventeen, while Adam Russo is a slightly more experienced eighteen.

However, the overall gap in ability between the older skating prospects in camp (Ward, Ribeiro), and the younger players (Himelfarb, Fortunas) is beginning to get smaller. During the first few days of camp it was easy to distinguish players’ ages just by their performance, where as now the best players on the ice are not necessarily the most experienced.

Defenseman Jean-Francois David, a 19 year-old who plays with Shawinigan of the QMJHL is just beginning to show his strong puck-handling skills, and impressive speed. He has quick feet, and effortlessly pivots backward to forward. He’s possibly the best skating-defenseman in camp.

Marc-André Thinel (5th round 1999) has been extremely inconsistent. He’ll perform well during one drill, but struggle during the next. Usually an offensive wizard, the shifty forward hasn’t been able to put an entire strong practice together, but sho Read more»

New Coyotes’ Top 20

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
Conducting a Top 20 list of prospects is not an easy thing to do. Everyone has their own opinion on a certain player’s talent and potential, and if you ask 5 people to give you a Top 20 list, I’m willing to bet all 5 would be different. I know not everyone is going to agree with this list, and I respect that. I respect your opinion, and if you feel like expressing it in an e-mail or a comment at the bottom of this article, please feel to do so. I will try to reply to all comments. Well, enough of the gibberish, let’s get right to it: The List.

Read more»

Cipolla Heads North to Winnipeg

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

AHL NEWS

Manitoba Moose have announced that they have purchased the contract of LW/C Jason Cipolla from the Rochester Americans. Cipolla spent the past two seasons with the Amerks but Moose fans may remember him from his two years as a member of the Milwaukee Admirals, where he recorded 111 points in 129 games between 1997 and 1999. Cipolla is the fourth player acquired by the Moose this season, joining defensemen Brian Chapman and Justin Kurtz, along with forward Jimmy Roy.

The Toronto product posted totals of 12 goals and 25 assists for 37 points in 72 games with the Americans last season. He signed with Rochester prior to the 1999-2000 season and was part of the Amerks’ run to the Calder Cup final. Cipolla is known as an individual with good character. On the ice he is feisty and agressive. Off the ice, he was awarded the Americans’ McCulloch Trophy for his work in the community last season.

“Jason Cipolla is a hardworking player that will show up every night,” said Carlyle. “When Vancouver goes through a string of recalls over the course of the season he will be one of the players that we will depend on as a constant variable along with players like Brian Chapman, Justin Kurtz and Jimmy Roy. We expect that he will be able to contribute offensively and will be a positive influence in the dressing room.”

Cipolla will join all the Canucks hopefuls in Burnaby, B.C. when Vancouver opens their training camp on September 11th.

AHL FASTFACTS

In 1996-97 Hamilton Bulldogs Dennis Bonvie set an AHL record when he recorded 522 penalty Read more»

Fulfilling the league’s potential.

by Jake Dole
on
Since 1946, hockey has taken over as the sort of competition which, to this day, familiarizes other nations with Russia and its system of sporting procedure. Until the fall of the Soviet Union, the system was extremely successful(although somewhat inhumane), which was evident with the enjoyed success of the “Sbornaja” clubs for more than 3 decades. Although, the system had its flaws, the secret lay within the strict development of youth to ensure the country’s athletic prosperity and assure consequent triumphs.
With the upcoming winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, one can only wonder if the nation can realistically compete for gold. Whether or not the problem lies within the apparent shortage of hockey youth, an argument can be made that unlike in the late 80’s or early 90s, Russia can no longer exhibit a punch of youthful energy to its lineup. Ten years ago, the likes of Mogilny, Bure and Fedorov represented the core of the country’s hockey prosperity. However, in 2001 the country is faced with putting together a team either with the millionaire stars who don’t want to be there or with the unproven youngsters who…well, have yet to prove anything. The lackluster development of hockey posterity in the 90’s has resulted in numerous disappointing world championship results for Russia, a tournament which was supposed to showcase more of the country’s budding youth. Although there has been clear improvement with an increase, let alone, the proportion of talent, many problems still plague the junior hockey systems in Russia.
A key problem Read more»

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