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.

 

Springfield Blues’ Assenmacher leads in assists, toughness and heart

by Derek Berry
on
Ben Assenmacher doesn’t have to speak in the Springfield Jr. Blues
locker room to command respect from his teammates. He merely shows them
what he’s talking about by collecting points on the ice and making big
plays. He leads by example.

Springfield head coach Craig Heggs says his star can play in all zones
and all corners and is possibly the hardest worker on the team.

“There’s no stat category for hard work,” says coach Heggs. “Benny
logs a lot of ice time. You don’t have to worry about him away from the
ice.”

The Blues’ team captain is one of the top penalty killers on the team
and simply leads by example, much like his linemate Greg Rallo.

“He is a tough kid, a captain by example,” says Heggs. “We need to
bring more players like Benny into this program. He’s very coachable,
very committed.”

Assenmacher himself would be the first one to tell you that he’s a
hard-working guy and he knows what it takes. He works hard off the ice
and in the gym. He constantly tweaks his game, and knows he’s not
always going to be perfect. But, he expects to win. And he expects his
teammates to win.

Ben Assenmacher is from a highly competitive background and the
athletic trademark runs deep through his family roots.

Ben’s dad received a full-ride scholarship to play football at the
University of Detroit. His father is now a hard-working doctor. He has
five older brothers, one younger than he and a sister thrown in there
too.

Assenmacher says although his dad never forced Read more»

MSU unstoppable behind Ryan Miller, wins 2nd straight CCHA title

by Derek Berry
on
The University of Michigan’s Andy Hilbert raced down the left side from
the opening face-off of the CCHA championship game, grabbed a loose puck
and tried to drive a shot from the left circle past eventual tournament
MVP Ryan Miller, sophomore goaltender for the Michigan State Spartans.

Miller stopped it and 19 shots later stopped everything else as MSU
glided to its second straight CCHA playoff championship, defeating the
Wolverines 2-0 in the CCHA title match at Joe Louis Arena.

It was a muscular defensive effort by the Spartans and their Hobey
Baker-nominated netminder, who in most hockey worlds could be referred
to as a human wall.

But, the promising goalie and cousin of three of MSU’s greatest
contingent of Millers says the defense in front of him should not be
discounted.

“The guys in front of me played outstanding,” said Miller, who became
the first-ever two-time tournament MVP. “They really limited the shots
and didn’t let them (U-M) stretch the ice out on us. They took away a
lot of the back-door plays.”

Miller was outstanding in getting his second straight tournament
championship shutout (last year the Spartans defeated Nebraska-Omaha in
the final 6-0) but those green and white defenders (Andrew Hutchinson,
Jon Insana, John-Michael Liles, Brad Fast, Joe Markusen and Kris Koski)
had a hand in it too, tying up potential maize and blue offenders at
every opportunity and forcing them into taking bad shots at times.

“That was Spartan hockey at its best tonight,” said head coach R Read more»

Goaltending Statistics

by Megan Sexton
on

Player

Team

League

GP

Read more»

Hainsey Signs With Habs

by Chris Boucher
on
Ron Hainsey, the Canadiens’ first round pick in last years’ draft, was signed to a 3-year contract. He will report to the AHL’s Quebec Citadelles immediately, in order to begin an AHL amateur try-out.
Formerly of U Mass-Lowell, Ron Hainsey is the popular choice as the Canadiens’ top prospect. He played consistently well all season, going no more than 2 straight games without a point. He registered 16 points in his first 10 games, and was named Hockey East’s player of the week for the week ending November 12th.
The 6’3″, 194 lbs. Hainsey has played 33 games. He has 36 points (10-26-36), with 51 minutes in penalties. Six of his goals were scored on the powerplay, while 1 was scored short-handed. He had point-scoring streaks of 4 games on two different occasions, as well as one streak of 3 straight games with at least 1 point.
Hainsey also played for the US squad in the World Junior Championships. He had a strong tournament, as he put his puck movement skills on display. He played 7 games, helping the US finish with a 5-2 record; Good enough for 5th place. He had 5 points (0-5-5), and was +3 with 2 minutes in penalties. He finished 3rd overall in scoring among defensemen, and registered 14 shots on net during the tournament.
Hainsey has all the skills to be an NHL regular. He must however increase his upper body strength. A jump to the NHL next season would be an incredible achievement. However he does have the skills to compete at the AHL level.

Hab you Heard?

Francois Beauchemin, the Habs’ 3rd round pick in the ’98 Ent Read more»

Hockey’s Future Interview with Roberto Luongo

by Mark Fischel
on
In a disappointing season for the Panthers, there has not been too many thing for fans to get excited about, but there has been two constants all season that have brought optimism for next season. The record-breaking season by Pavel Bure, and the exemplary play of Roberto Luongo.

In the midst of a streak that has seen Roberto lose only once in his last nine starts (3-1-5), Roberto has been keeping the Panthers competitive in every one of these games. In the last three games alone, he has stopped 110 of 114 shots (.965 sv), and has allowed two goals or less in six of the last 9 starts, and 14 goals in his last 23 starts.

The night before playing Montreal to a 2-2 tie, a game in which he faced 40 shots, 23 of which came in one period alone, Roberto was gracious enough to speak with Hockey’s Future regarding his season so far, and his thoughts on a variety of other topics Read more»

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