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.

 

The Broadway Blue Line

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

The Rangers’ defensive depth can not be overlooked. Although the Rangers’ defense was horrible last season (they gave up the most goals against in the NHL), the future blue line does look bright on Broadway. I fully expect at least one rookie defenseman to stick with the team this year for the entire season. Glen Sather added veteran defenseman Igor Ulanov and Dave Karpa to the club, therefore taking away the opportunity for more youngsters to make the team on defense. Last year’s rookie defensemen, Tomas Kloucek and Dale Purinton, were bright spots on a bad team, while others such as Mike Mottau and Peter Smrek impressed in a few games towards the end of the season. Tomas Kloucek will be out until around December, as he is still recovering from a torn ACL suffered in a game late last season against the Atlanta Thrashers when his leg slammed awkwardly into the boards, but, it will take him longer than that to get back to the level where he was last season.

Unless a trade is made, there is a log jam at defense for the Rangers. Brian Leetch, a fully recovered Vladimir Malakhov, Kim Johnsson, Igor Ulanov and Dale Purinton appear to have spots locked up to start the season, while Dave Karpa will likely stay on as a 7th defenseman. Kloucek will still be recovering, as will Sylvain Lefebvre who had shoulder surgery this off-season. The 6th spot is up for grabs during training camp, and whoever plays the best will likely wind up being the one who stays with the big club. Mike Mottau and Peter Smrek s Read more»

Islanders Myrvold Says Yes…. to SC Bern

by Evan Andriopoulos
on

Myrvold originally one of Norway`s brighter prospects said no thanks to an offer from Mike Milbury`s Islanders earlier this summer. His agent was working out a deal with the Montreal Canadiens when Myrvold decided the after tax salary of 175,000 USD was enough to make him say yes to Bern of the Swiss league.

In 2000-01 he recorded (69gp 5g 24a 29tp 129pim) with Springfield and in 13 games with the parent Islanders he notted 1 assist.

So for this Viking, the journey to the NHL now goes through Switzerland and SC Bern.

Other News and Notes: American Defender Matt Jarret ex. UConnecticut defender is back in the states after some tryouts in France and Norway. Jarret hopes to return to Norway for a tryout with VIF-Hockey and some other clubs later this summer.

Aker Hockey has signed up several new players for the Norwegian 4th division including American center Eirk Olsen (5-11 180) and Canadian winger Ryley MacKenzie(5-10 175). These players along with a new Swedish sniper should help Aker move back up to a higher division next season and they join American player-coach Evan Andriopoulos (def.6-2 220).

Ducks have two very important decisions to make at camp this year

by Jamie Randolph
on
The Mighty Ducks have two very important decisions to make at training camp this fall. Where will their two top prospects play this season?

Stanislav Chistov, the Ducks first pick (fifth overall) in this year’s NHL Entry Draft has four options.

He could make the NHL straight out of camp which is a possibility as he has the skill to do so, but I think another year of development would do him good.

The Ontario Hockey League’s, London Knights drafted Chistov in last years import draft. It’s an option but in my opinion for a player like Chistov it’s not a good move because he already played junior A hockey in Canada and in California. It’s not like he has to learn a new language or grow accustom to North Amrerican culture. If fellow Mighty Duck prospect Maxim Rybin who is 5’9″ can become a sniper in the OHL, when he is not nearly as talented as Chistov, imagine what Chistov could do. Dominating the OHL will not help him with his problem of cutting across the middle of the ice so that is not the best option. Chistov needs to learn how to avoid checks and injury. A higher level would suit him better.

There is the Russian Super League which I think is the worst option. Chistov skills are NHL ready, he just needs to grow accustom to the physical style of the NHL so going back to Russia isn’t a great choice.

Read more»

Kings Prospect Rankings and Notes

by Tony Calfo
on

The Los Angeles' Kings draft, rated among the best by the Sporting News, has given the Kings an influx of new blood in their system. With that, the HF Kings' Page has updated its rankings. Here are some notes:

At the top is Yanick Lehoux. Lehoux had a solid Prospect Camp and showed some of the skill that lead to his huge point totals in Juniors. Whether or not he cracks the big club this season, Lehoux seems to have more skill and skating ability than the players Kings' fans fear he will become – Pavel Rosa. As a result, Lehoux seems like he will be special.

Jared Aulin turned alot of heads at Prospects camp and his evolution makes Dave Taylor look like even more of a genius. Now the Kings leave the Blake trade with two major prospects and two top contributors. As someone who was the first to knock the trade, it appears to be a great deal. Aulin may well make this team this season.

Alexander Frolov still appears to be among the top prospects in the Kings' system, but he was not at the Prospect's camp. Frolov is evolving overseas, but the Kings need to get him to America and see how he plays in the North American leagues.

Steckel is ahead of Jens Karlsson as a testament to Steckel's potential. Steckel is huge and is still young. His skating and offense are still a ways from NHL level, but he will likely be a top line center for the Kings. At nearly 6'6, that would give the Kings the size in the middle they have coveted for so long.

Among the movers from last season are Alexey Volkov who has tumbled from the Read more»

Now that Bryzgalov has signed, where does Greg Naumenko fit in?

by Jamie Randolph
on
On July 16th, 2001 the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim agreed to terms with goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov is one of the top goaltending prospects in the world. He joins a team that has excellent depth in goal.

J.S Giguere is Anaheims goaltender of the future and current back-up. Steve Shields is the #1 goaltender till Giguere is ready, and Greg Naumenko is the farm hand. The only spot that I think Bryzgalov can take is being the #1 goaltender in Cincy, which is/was Naumenko’s job. Naumenko was signed by the Ducks in 1999 for depth puposes but he impressed a lot of people in the Ducks organization, which is why he stuck around.

We are now in 2001 and a lot of things have changed. The Ducks have excellent depth in goal and Naumenko seems to be the odd man out. If Bryzgalov’s numbers
have anything in common with his talent we should see a rather big trade involving Giguere or Shields
or a small trade involving Naumenko, either way the Ducks need to trade one of their goaltenders, and
sorry Mr Naumenko, “You are the Weakest Link, Goodbye”.

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