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.

 

BCHLers in Sault Ste. Marie

by Glenn Fugate
on
On February 6th the BCHL will play the NOJHA in a all-star game featuring players yet to agree to college scholarships. The NOJHA (Northern Ontario Junior Hockey Association)will be paying the expenses of the British Columbia Hockey League players to get back east. I think this is a great idea.Players from both leagues get exposure to college scouts and BCHL players get to travel back east and be seen by scouts that might not make it out west that often.The NOJHA is paying the BCHL quite a compliment by paying all the expenses. The BCHL has hit the 28 mark with scholarships this season. The league is the most recruited in Canada. It will be interesting to see how the game goes.However it turns out, I`m sure the scouts will be noticeable in the stands. I`m not sure if the NOJHA is playing already college bound players in this game or not? I have seen most of the players attending this game from the BCHL. They are all great players. I am sure most of these players will get scholarships by the end of the season.The goaltenders on this team are very good. I have seen goaltender Jason Montgomery many times. He has won many of the games for his club, the Quesnel Millionaires this season. Montgomery is arguably the best in the BCHL. So,if your in Sault Ste Marie on February 6th check out this game. It could be a good one if the players play with some pride.

Speaking of all-star games. The BCHL all-star game was played awhile back in Quesnel. Many scouts always attend this game from all over North America. I realize it`s a way to see alot of good player Read more»

Mid-Season Panther Prospect Report. Part 2

by Mark Fischel
on


Mid-Season Panther Prospect Report Card….Part 2

While this season for the Panthers has been an hard one to watch and an easy one to forget, it has given me the opportunity to see in person many of the top prospects of the Florida Panthers. While there are many reasons why the Panthers are having a dismal year, the biggest one is the startling amount of injuries that has plagued this team.
Normally the Panthers would have 3-5 rookies called up throughout a season, but this year the Panthers have seen 11 rookies play extended roles for games at a time. Some of these players have been pleasant surprises, like Serge Payer and Lance Ward. While some have promise and potential, they show that they are not ready for the NHL, and wouldn’t be playing if it weren’t for all the injuries to Panther regulars.


Denis Shvidki, Left Wing Read more»

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Seemingly endless slump grinds on: When the team turned in perhaps its worst performance of the season at home against the Bruins on January 24th, even their most staunch supporters began to despair that a season that once seemed so very promising is now gradually slipping away … the Leafs have now won but 6 of 20 games played since December 15th … what’s especially troubling is that so many of these poor outings have come at the Air Canada Centre and against sub-500 teams … a once decent powerplay is now completely ineffectual and stellar goaltending from Curtis Joseph is being wasted on far too many nights … virtually everyone concedes that there is an abundance of veteran leadership in Toronto but this asset just isn’t evident on the ice of late … if something isn’t soon done to reverse this slide, any chance of making a serious bid for a championship this season will melt away long before the games really begin to matter …

Rumours: Insiders suggest that Toronto was also very much involved when the Penguins traded blueliner Jiri Slegr to Atlanta recently – the Leafs may have offered something more substantial than the 3rd round draft pick ultimately accepted from the Thrashers but Pittsburgh was understandably hesitant to deal the talented Czech to a potential playoff opponent … it seems increasingly likely that LA r Read more»

Czech players at the CHL Top Prospects game

by Robert Neuhauser
on
Since 1996 all top prospects for the upcoming NHL Entry Draft gather in one weekend to take
part in an event, followed very closely by NHL scouts and general managers, the CHL Top
Prospects game. Almost every player who played at the CHL Top Prospects game got drafted
and some of them are already NHL regulars and future stars, for example Joe Thornton of the
Boston Bruins, Chris Phillips of the Ottawa Senators and Tim Connoly of the New York Islanders.
The Czech players play a significant role among the Euros playing in the CHL, so it is logic
that they already made their presence felt also at the CHL Top Prospects Game. Last year on
the rosters of Team Orr and Team Cherry were the likes of Rostislav Klesla and Libor Ustrnul,
WJC champions, or Tomas Kurka with Filip Novak. This year the lists which the NHL scouts
have submitted include five Czech players. They have a bright future ahead and can look
forward to the NHL Draft in Florida. Let’s have a look who is it.


Lukas Krajicek (Peterborough Petes, OHL)

Born: March 11th, 1983
Position: D
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 185 lbs.
Shoots: L
CSB rank: 16th
Last Czech team: HC Continental Zlin
Lukas Krajicek, a prospect born on the same day as fellow Czech prospect Daniel Volrab, plays
overseas for two years. In his last season with HC Continental Zlin Lukas posted solid numbers
in the midget league ELHD and became the 9th best scorer among ELHD defensemen. The next
year he chose to play for Detroit Compuware of the NAHL to get used to the North American
style. And he adjust Read more»

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