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.

 

Sabres Report: Czech Mates

by Ken McKenna
on

The 2002 World Junior Championships have come and gone, with the Russian team taking home the gold medal as a result of their 5-4 victory over Canada in the WJC finale. While the Russians can bask in the fleeting feeling of glory days gone by, another former Eastern Bloc nation, the WJC host and defending champ Czech Republic, were left to ponder a disappointing 7th place finish.

As luck would have it, the Buffalo Sabres sported just 2 prospects participating in the WJC, with both of those players playing for the Czech squad. C Jiri Novotny and LW Michal Vondrka were both 2001 draft choices for Buffalo, with Novotny being the more high profile of the two due to his status as a 1st round pick. Both players also play for the same organization, Budejovice, with Novotny playing in the top Czech league and Vondrka splitting his time between the elite and junior squads.

If one were to judge strictly by statistics, it could be said that neither player had a particularly good showing at the WJC. Both players notched just 2 points in 7 games, with Novotny logging 2 assists, and Vondrka netting 1 while adding a helper. Both players were a minus for the tournament (Novotny –3, Vondrka –2), while also sporting nearly identical shots-on-goal numbers (Novotny 12, Vondrka 11).

In the case of Vondrka, at least, the statistics didn’t lie. As reported to me by Robert Neuhauser, the Czech Editor for Hockey’s Future, Michal’s performance was largely disappointing, mainly due to the fact that he didn’t see a Read more»

WJC: The Awards

by pbadmin
on

Top 3 players

As selected by the tournament directorate:

GK: Kari Lehtonen (FIN)

D: Igor Knyazev (RUS)

F: Mike Cammalleri (CAN)

Media All-Star Team

Team 1

GK: Pascal Leclaire (CAN)

D: Jay Bouwmeester (CAN)

D: Igor Knyazev (RUS)

F: Mike Cammalleri (CAN)

F: Marek Svatos (SVK)

F: Stanislav Chistov (RUS)

Team 2

G: Kari Letonen (FIN)

D: Magnus Hedlund (SWE)

D: Anton Volchenkov (RUS)

F: Toni Koivisto (FIN)

F: Brad Boyes (CAN)

F: Aleksandr Frolov (RUS)

The three best players of each team

BLR: Andrei Kastsitsyn, Aleksandr Kulakov, Sergey Rachovsky

CAN: Mike Cammalleri, Brian Sutherby, Steve Ott

CZE: Lukas Hronek, Tomas Plekanec, Jiri Novotny

FIN: Kari Lehtonen, Olli Malmivaara, Jussi Jokinen

FRA: Landry Macrez, Wilfried Molmy, Aram Kevorkiam

RUS: Aleksandr Polishin, Aleksandr Frolov, Yuri Trubachev

SVK: Peter Budaj, Tomas Malec, Marek Svatos

SWE: Magnus Hedlund, Daniel Widing, Pär Bäcker

SWI: Beat Gerber, Thibaut Monnet, Andreas Camenzind

USA: Ben Eaves, Ryan Hollweg, Christopher Higgins

WJC: Interview with Tim Ramholt

by pbadmin
on

HF: The Russians just beat Switzerland 4-0. What were your impressions of that game?

Ramholt: We started out pretty well against them, but the Russians techically are a very good team. We got this unlucky goal against, which I thought was kicked in and shouldn’t have counted, and that was a mental blow for us. Quikcly after that the Russians scored their 2nd and the game was not in our hands anymore and the Russians dominated.

HF: What about Switzerland’s performance so far in this tournaments. It has been with ups and downs.

Ramholt: We qualified for the quarter finals. That’s what is most important. We played very well against Finland. So far I’ve got a good feeling about our performance.

HF: And what are the expectations for the quarter finals?

Ramholt: We must take it game by game. It’s the only way to approach it really since this will be a knock out round. We just have to give 150% every game since our team is probably the less talented team of the quarter finalists.

HF: Are you satisfied with your own performance so far?

Ramholt: I feel I played well so far. During the game vs Canada I didn’t though, as was the case for more players, but overall I’m satisfied. I always seem to play well at tournaments. You could say I’m a sort of tournament guy.

HF: Why is it that Switzerland always struggles against North-American teams?

Ramholt: I don’t know. It is just a fact. They play a different style and we always have trouble to cope with that. For some players facing a North-American tea Read more»

Kings Update- Half Way Home

by Tony Calfo
on

It has been quite a season already for the Kings and their system, but despite an average record for the Big Club, the Kings’ farm system has never stood taller.

The big news around the Kings’ system is the play of their prospects at the World Junior Championships. The Kings owned the rights to three of the top six point scorers in the WJC’s. Gold Medal winner Alexander Frolov is the real deal and the hockey world seems to know it now. Rave reviews about his blend of smooth skating and power around the net are still coming in. Frolov’s walk-out goal in the final game was huge and started the rally that won the game for Russia. Frolov has the potential to be the impact rookie that the Kings have not seen since Luc Robitaille. Frolov could arrive as soon as next season, which would allow him to play with Jason Allison. The Kings must be drooling at the prospect of pairing a playmaker like Allison with a potential finisher like Frolov. In any case, Frolov is emerging as the crown jewel of the Kings’ system.

Another riser is the diminutive Mike Cammalleri. Cammalleri lead the WJC’s in goals and points and emerged as a leader on Team Canada. Cammalleri is not real big, but is an intriguing player due to his scoring and leadership abilities. Mike’s success at Michigan and the WJC’s has him rising up the charts of Kings’ prospects.

Jared Aulin’s 9 points put him third among the scoring leaders at the WJC’s. Aulin is am NHL caliber player who can play both center and wing. Aulin continues to impress as well and caught the eye of the hockey world.

Read more»

The CHL Daily News

by League Press Release
on

INSIDE THE CHL RETURNS WITH NEW EDITION ON FRIDAY

The latest edition of Inside the CHL will be available at the official
website of the Canadian Hockey League, www.chl.ca, on Friday afternoon.

Inside the CHL is a look around the Canadian Hockey League, the largest
hockey league in the world. The show is posted at www.chl.ca. and is also
heard on junior hockey radio broadcasts across the country.

On Edition number 5, host Roger Lajoie previews the upcoming Hershey Cup CHL
All-Star Series of Games, along with the Home Hardware CHL Top Prospects
Game as well. CHL commissioner David Branch is among the guests on the show,
which CHL radio stations are invited to download and use during their
intermissions.

Inside the CHL is produced every two weeks, with the next edition after
Friday’s available Friday, Jan. 25.

WESTERN HOCKEY LEAGUE

There are five games in the WHL on Wednesday night. Saskatoon is at Calgary,
Prince Albert travels to Lethbridge, Medicine Hat is at Red Deer, Kelowna is
at Spokane and Prince George (8) plays in Brandon.

There were two games in the WHL Tuesday night as Medicine Hat doubled Prince
Albert 6-3 and Portland beat Vancouver 6-3.

At Medicine Hat, Ben Thomson scored two goals and added two assists to lead
Medicine Hat to victory. Joffrey Lupul added two goals and one assist to the
winners’ attack, while Jeremy Colliton had one goal and one assist for the
losers. Sean Connors made 28 saves in goal for Medicine Hat.

At Vancouver, Josef Balej scored three goals to lead Portland to Read more»

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