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 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.

Pivotal season for Sundin: 2000 / 2001 will be a very important year for Maple Leafs’ team captain and perennial leading scorer, Mat Sundin … he will surely be determined to prove that he can take the club to greater play-off glory and has never had such a strong supporting cast during his time in Toronto … Sundin will also be playing for his next contract as his existing multi-year pact concludes at the end of this season … for what its worth, both sides have already indicated a strong desire to extend their association for the long haul … an appropriate annual stipend remains the only detail yet to be worked out … don’t be too surprised if the terms on Sundin’s next contract are dictated more by the team’s overall success this season rather than by his own personal accomplishments … although questions concerning Mats’ determination and leadership are constantly being raised by many “experts” covering the team, these same doubts stuck to Steve Yzerman and Mike Modano as well until they eventually became Stanley Cup champions …
Read more»

CCHA Player Watch – Part 1 – Michigan Wolverines

by Greg Andrade
on
Some of the top players in the CCHA have departed for the professional ranks over the summer, but there are still plenty of players to watch in 2000, including an exciting crop of recruits. Despite the departure of Mike Comrie to the WHL and the loss of seniors like Shawn Horcoff, Brian McCullough, Roger Trudeau and J.P. Vigier, there will be no shortage of talent in the CCHA this season. In this first installment of the CCHA Player Watch, we will focus on several players at the University of Michigan who will be worth following this season.

Among the returning players this season is standout Michigan defenseman Jeff Jillson. Jillson was drafted in the first round by the San Jose Sharks in 1999 and had a chance to leave school and sign with the Sharks this summer, but he chose to stay at Michigan for his junior year. He is 6-3 220 pounds and is perhaps the toughest and most intimidating defenseman in college hockey. But what separates him from other defensemen is his offensive ability. He led all CCHA defensemen in scoring last season and become one of the best two-way blueline prospects in all of hockey. Jillson might be good enough for the NHL already, but the Sharks are currently loaded with young talent on the blueline and there is no need to rush him. Jillson will be the leader of a Wolverine defense that should be much improved over last season, when the team was short on depth after the unexpected departure of Mike Van Ryn to the OHL.

Read more»

Florida Panthers Announce More Roster Moves

by Mark Fischel
on
Florida Panthers Vice President and General Manager Bryan
Murray announced several roster moves following a preseason training
camp intersquad game today at Robert Guertin Arena. Three players were
returned to their junior teams for the 2000-01 season, while seven
players were reassigned to Louisville of the American Hockey League.
Rod Sarich, Chris Eade, and Morgan McCormick will return to their junior
teams. Mike Cirillo, Ryan Jardine, Paul Harvey, Eric Godard, Eric
Beaudoin, Mike Green, and Michel Periard will all report to the
Louisville Panthers’ training camp to compete for spots with Florida’s
top affiliate in the AHL.

The Florida Panthers will take on the Ottawa Senators on Friday evening
(6 p.m. EST) in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The game will mark the first
preseason contest of the 2000-2001 season for both teams. Alexei Yashin
and Pavel Bure are both expected to play.

I must give many thanks go to the Panther Communications Dept for their full work on this game summary.

As always, feel free to write me with any comments or post on applicable team or general message boards

Mark Fischel

Ray Whitney Rallies Blue Team In Panthers Intersquad Game

by Mark Fischel
on
In the Florida Panthers intersquad scrimmage at Robert Guertin Arena this evening, Ray Whitney led the Blue Team to a
come-from-behind 6-3 victory. Whitney scored a pair of goals, and rookie Mike Green added a goal and two assists for the winners. After
giving up three goals in the first period, the Blue Team rallied to score the final six goals of the game. Goaltender Sean Gauthier, who played
the second half of the game for the winning squad did not allow a goal. Many of the veterans saw just limited action. Florida will take on Ottawa
in its first pre-season game of the year in Halifax, Nova Scotia tomorrow.

FIRST PERIOD: The Red Team exploded for three goals in a span of 1:14 as Len Barrie set up a pair of goals. Rookie Mike Cirillo
notched a goal and an assist, while Paul Laus and rookie Ryan Jardine each tallied once. Ray Whitney got the Blue Team on the
scoreboard on a pass from Mike Green.

SECOND PERIOD: Green, Paul Brousseau, and Morgan McCormick led the Blue Team, scoring three unanswered second period
goals. Goaltenders Trevor Kidd (16 shots, 13 saves) and Roberto Luongo (18 shots, 15 saves) both left the game at the midway
point. Each netminder allowed three goals.

THIRD PERIOD: Peter Ratchuk and Whitney secured the Blue Team’s victory by scoring third period goals. The Blue Team
outshot the Red Team in the game 33-25. The game ended prematurely when a pane of glass became dislodged with 4:15
remaining in the third period. Read more»

Kings Preseason Game 1

by Tony Calfo
on
The Kings took on the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday for their first preseason game of the 2000 season. The lineup featured several youngsters. Here is a rundown of their performance.

Kevin Baker- Baker did not receive alot of ice time but showed some promise. Kevin’s stocky build and aggressive play showed when he got his shot on the power play. He drove to the net several times and was not afraide to crash the net. He appeared tough to move and got his stick on a couple rebounds. Baker also did not back down from veteran Brad May, even throwing a nice check on the Phoenix forward. Kevin may be a year away, but I definitely like his game.

Mike Pudlick- Pudlick started out strong. It is amazing watching him skate and pass because he moves like a left handed Rob Blake. His decisions with the puck were sound, although he made some mistakes in the third period. Mike was paired with Rob Blake and didn’t show much in the way of physical play, but he has a shot at the roster this season.

Andreas Lilja- Lilja is definitely big. His size gives him a shot at the roster this season, but other than that he didn’t do much. I thought he was sleepwalking through the first two periods. He had better show more of a physical presence if he wants to make the team.
Read more»