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.

 

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»

Blues Preseason about to begin

by Chris Irvine
on
Yesterday, nine players were sent packing by the blues, these players were junior returnees, european players or released tryouts. These type of players were released based on the fact that they are nowhere close to the NHL level yet and it is better for them to start their respective years off on the right foot.

The Blues had a chance to get a serious look at all 70 players in camp with the exception of Barret Jackman who has yet to play because of finger surgery that he had this summer. Also Todd Reirden and Marc Bergevin will both be out well into the season, meaning that there are two more spots open for defensemen. Jackman is likely returning for one last season with Regina as his junior team will be hosting this year’s Memorial Cup and should also lead the Canadian world junior team.

There are battles for spots at mostly D and the backup goalie position behind Turek. In terms of the goalie position, Johnson and Rolson will battle throughout the preseason for the rights to that position. Stephen Wagner was assigned to Worcester and Reinhard Divis should return to the Swedish Elite league. That leaves Rudkowsky and tryout Curtis Sanford. Rudkowsky will likely play in Worcester again this season and Sanford could sign a contract, as he has been impressive in both the rookie tourney and the camp tourney as well.
Read more»

Bolts Send players to the Motor City as Vipers Prepare

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
While there is still no guarantee as to who will be with the Detroit Vipers Come October 6, but all ready the Vipers coaching staff has an idea who will be at training camp as their parent club the Tampa Bay Lightning cut 17 players from their camp.

Familiar faces from last year’s team heading back to the motor city include defencemen Kyle Kos, Mikko Kuparinen, and Mark Thompson, right wingers Dale Rominski, Samuel St. Pierre, and Jan Sulc.

In his first season of professional play, Kos, split his time last season between the Vipers and the Utah Grizzlies playing a total of 66 IHL-games, netting four points (1G-3A) with 101 penalty minutes.

Kuparinen played the majority of last season (28 games) in Finland for the
HIFK Helsinki team during which he posted a pair of assists with 29 penalty minutes. Kuparinen played 9 ganes in the IHL with Detroit and Long Beach.

The four-year University of Michigan star Dale Rominski had a good breakout year playing in his first professional season. In 78 games with Detroit and 3 with the Lightning, Rominski recorded 14 goals and 16 assists while only being assessed 70 penalty minutes.

Samuel St. Pierre will look to get back on the scoring track as he enters his second professional season. In 47 games with Detroit in 1999-2000, the St. Pierre had 15 points (11G-4A) and 25 PIM.

Read more»

Wings Team D, the ‘Come Back Kids’

by Jessica Haskin
on
Team D were the “Come Back Kids” scoring 5 goals in the third period of
a 7 to 4 game. Although it didn’t look too bright for them at the
beginning of the game Team D won the bronze.

The first goal of this high scoring game came on a four on four when
Jesse Wallin and Ryan Barnes were sent to the box for roughing. Their
was a small dispute between them and they had a little WWF going on for
those fans that are both hockey and wrestling fans. Shawn McNeil found
the back of the net for Team D with an assist from Dustin Kuk.

The next goal came from Boyd Devereaux who put the puck past Manny
Legace after he had gotten it from Tomas Holmstrom, 2-0 Team D.

Less than a minute later Team C scored yet again. Lee Jinman, standing
on the left side of the net, received a pass from Marc Rodgers, spotting
Anton Borodkin standing wide open on the right side with plenty of
shooting room. Jinman made a beautiful pass to Borodkin who slammed it
home behind Legace who didn’t have a chance of getting over in time for
it.

Legace had a nice glove save on Darren McCarty with less than 4 minutes
left. Then it was Chris Osgood’s turn to show Legace that he could make
nice glove saves too when he stoned Alexandre Jacques.

Less than a minute into the second period Osgood had to play spectacular
when Pat Verbeek took a shot, hitting Osgood’s pads. Doug Brown was Read more»