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.


QMJHL Players of the Week

by Nicolas Gaudreau-Dupuis

The QMJHL respectively named Jason King and Dany Dallaire (both from the Halifax Mooseheads) Offensive Player and Defensive Player of the Week spreading from October 9th to October 15th.

Halifax Mooseheads’ right-winger Jason King (20-yrs old, 6-0, 205 lbs) scored 6 goals and added an assist in 3 games. King was drafted in the 7th round (212th overall) by the Vancouver Canucks at the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.

Halifax Mooseheads’ goaltender Danny Dallaire (20-yrs old, 5-11, 180 lbs) appeared in 3 games over the last week, winning 2 games and tying another, with a 2,59 goals-against average. Dallaire is an undrafted player.

Calder Corner for Oct 15th

by HF Staff

The Calder Corner

New York Rangers

Dan Blackburn: 1st NHL win, 23 shots, 22 saves, 1-1-0

As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!

Fortunes freezing up for the ICE

by Jeff Bromley

Fortunes freezing up for the ICE

What’s wrong with the Kootenay ICE? For the first time the club’s four-year history in Cranbrook, that’s the question being asked with more and more frequency among the ICE faithful. And with two important home dates this week against the defending Memorial Cup champion Red Deer Rebels on Wednesday and a Prince George Cougar club that is finishing a long road swing into Alberta and Southeastern B.C. on Saturday, the Key City club has a limited amount of time to find the solution to their woes and prohibit themselves from falling to a 4-9 record on the young season.

After a 4-1 loss to the Kamloops Blazers at home last Friday and a disappointing 4-3 road loss to Medicine Hat the next evening, calls of a familiar ring around the Kootenay ICE this season reared its ugly head once again – sub-par goaltending. It’s a cause that after Friday’s loss to the Blazers, Coach McGill vehemently begs to differ. “It’s unfortunate that our goaltender played very well tonight and our other guys didn’t show up and help him out,” said McGill of rookie Bryan Bridges performance against the Blazers. “(It’s) very uncharacteristic of the way we’ve played lately as far as our defensive game and not allowing many shots . . . We’ve got a long ways to go.”

Against the Blazers it was a defensive unit prided on its depth and experience that had trouble containing the speedy and physical Kamloops forwards and allowed an un-Kootenay like 38 shots on the rookie Bridges while a stymied offence only generated a paltry 21 shots on the Blazers’ Steve Belang Read more»

Jaroslav Sklenar returns to Czech Republic

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Three Strikes, Now What?

Let’s play a round of Front Page Challenge. It is sometime in early June 2002, the phone in your office rings, your receptionist tells you it’s Toronto Maple Leaf GM/Coach Pat Quinn and covering your eyes with one hand, you pick up the receiver with the other? Who are you? Kudos if you answered Ottawa 67’s GM/Coach Brian Kilrea who has got to be wondering what to do now that Leaf 6th rounder Jaroslav Sklenar has decided to return home to the Czech Republic only a few games into the season. This marks the third year in a row where ‘Killer’ has taken a Leaf product in the import draft and come away less than satisfied. First there was Luca Cereda in 1999. He had a great rookie camp in 2000/2001 once he came over to North America and was touted as a possible OHL Player of the Year candidate. Heart surgery cost him the year and he was assigned to St. John’s this time out. Vadim Sozinov was selected in 2000, and although he got off to a slow start, by the end of the year he was an integral part of the 67’s offense. Alas, he returned to Russia in the off-season. Some say it was his idea, others say it was Kilrea’s, still others mutual agreement. Bottom line: No European player. Enter Jaroslav Sklenar. Whereas both Cereda and Sozinov were both 1st round selections in the Import Draft, Kilrea waited until the 2nd round this time out before grabbing the Czech. And as stated, again, the dice have come up craps. How much longer is Kilrea going to keep answering that phone when Quinn calls? Who knows. As far as the Leafs GM is concerned tho Read more»

University of New Hampshire shows promise

by Jeff Morton

“Now I know how Custer felt”, said University of Ottawa’s head coach and UNH alumni Mickey Goulet after being routed 9-1 by the University of New Hampshire men’s hockey team Friday night in Durham, NH. Coach Goulet went on to say, in no particular order, “UNH looks incredible”, they put on one hell of a clinic tonight”, and “UNH showed experience and composure”. Not exactly comments used to describe the play of UNH in the last 12 months.

UNH wasted little time in their rejection of last season. In a display as rare as a snow free New England winter, all five UNH players rushed the net to stuff a rebound. The goal was awarded to the rejuvenated Patrick Foley, who returned this season after surgery on both knees last year. UNH went on to score three more goals in the period, produced by the usual suspects, Jim Abbott, Colin Hemingway and Lanny Gare. UNH displayed excellent puck control, tape-to-tape passing, hustle, good decision-making and the one thing curiously absent from last season, the ability to finish.

Goaltending, probably the biggest question mark this season was rarely tested, with Matt Carney stopping both shots on goal. Carney did however handle the puck several times and was rock solid with decision-making and skill. At times, had he not played like a professional, Carney ran the risk of falling asleep due to inactivity. Michael Ayers, the second UNH goalie, played the second and third periods. He did give up one goal, but like Carney was dangerously close to losing consciousness at times due to inactivity. Ayers provided a Hasek-esque mom Read more»

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