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: Columbus Discovers Buffalo

by Ken McKenna
on

The Buffalo Sabres continued their exhibition slate with back-to-back games against the expansion Columbus Blue Jackets. The Sabres should be excused if they felt that their opponent seemed a little familiar, as Columbus had a total of seven former Sabres prospects/players on their training camp roster.

Those former Sabres still fighting for Columbus roster spots include D Jean-Luc Grand-Pierre, RW Matt Davidson, LW Geoff Sanderson, LW Barrie Moore and RW Martin Spahnel. Two former Buffalo prospects, C Brad Moran and D Sergei Klimentiev, were assigned to the Syracuse Crunch this past week. Sanderson and Grand-Pierre are probably locks to make the Blue Jacket roster, while Davidson, Moore and Spahnel are still in the thick of the roster battle with several other players.

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Sens News and Notes for the Week of September 25th

by Nathan Estabrooks
on

Sens News and Notes for the Week of September 24

Cuts

The Sens roster has been trimmed down to 30 players. You can expect the next cuts by mid-week after a game against the Oilers. The four cuts this week-end were all sent to Grand Rapids.

Mathieu Chouinard He played well throughout camp but like all young goalies requires some more seasoning. For the most part it could be said management was surprised with Chouinard’s level of play in comparison to his mediocre season of junior last year. It may only be a matter of time before he’s the Sens number one goalie.

Chris Neil With the exception of Havlat no player made more of name for himself in camp then Neil; many observers are shocked Neil didn’t make it past this round of cuts. He was fearless and always eager to please his teammates. All in all, camp was a great success and you can expect to see Neil in an Ottawa jersey sometime this season.

Konstantin Gorovikov Despite the fact coach Jacques Martin constantly referred to him as Konstantinov, Gorovikov showed promise in all the exhibition games he player. The only knock against him is the Sens prodigious depth on defence.

Derek King This year the once proud Islander will find himself playing in the IHL again and will be asked to provide veteran leadership in Grand Rapids.

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Bucs Blitz National U18 Team, 7-1

by Erik Freeman
on
The National U18 Team is having some early troubles this year. Tonight, they couldn’t put any offense on the board as they netted only one goal. Brian McConnell got the goal on an assist from Bryan Miller. Des Moines had a balanced attact with 7 different players scoring goals. Mike Mantua played solid in the nets for the Bucs. Mantua is playing very well and looks to be one of the best goalies in the USHL this year. Tomorrow the USNTDP U18 Team takes on the Cedar Rapids Roughriders. Expect the National Team to come out of the gates flying and put some goals up on the board. They certainly have the talent, they just need to make some adjustments and everything should be fine.

Next weekend will be a big weekend for the National squad as they face Chicago and Sioux Falls in USHL action. The first week of October they will find out how much they have improved as they take on CCHA teams Michigan State and Western Michigan. This year the NTDP is playing a mixture of USHL and Division 1 and 3 teams.

Pens sign goalie, make roster moves

by Erik Johnson
on
The Pens made 2 huge steps today in finalizing their final roster for their opening games in Japan against the Nashville Predators

The most important step was coming to terms with expected #1 starting goalie Jean-Sebastian Aubin. Terms of the contract, which was reported between periods of the Pens/Avalanche exhibition game in Hershey, were not released.

The Pens also made a number of roster moves today that cut the roster to 24 players (one less than they will take to Japan). The 2 biggest surpises were the inclusion of forward Bill Tibbetts and defenseman Josef Melichar (the Pens #4 prospect) on the “final” roster.

Tibbetts certainly has gotten much press this camp so far, little concerning his play on the ice. And the beginning of camp showed that 3 years off the ice can be brutal with regards to your skills. But apparently, he made real strides as camp progressed and will likely fill a 4th line role with the Pens.

Melichar was expected to be sent to Wilkes-Barre at the beginning of camp, but beat out the more experienced Sven Butenschon for the final spot on the roster. By all accounts, Sven had an excellent camp, but Melichar simply beat him out. Butenschon will need to clear waivers before he is sent to Wilkes-Barre.

Also making the team was Calder Trophy candidate forward Milan Kraft. While Milan didn’t have as good of a camp as last year, he was good enough to garner a spot on the roster.
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Panther profile with Denis Shvidki and Panther Roster Cuts

by Mark Fischel
on
Starting October 4th, Hockey’s Future will be listed as an “official” Hockey site on the Florida Panther’s web page. All Florida fans looking for in-depth information about prospects and rookies will have the opportunity to learn about the prospects by visiting Hockey’s Future. In addition, for the service of the site’s long time readers, we will be able to duplicate the work from the web-site and post it here for all the Hockey’s Future readers.

These articles are from the Panther’s web-site and are sent out to their Cyber-news signups, and are posted here with permission.

One of the first features is a training camp diary of the highly touted rookie Denis Shvidki.

On how training camp is going:

The first couple of days were tough because I didn’t skate that much this
summer because of my ankle injury. My ankle was still sore too. But now I
feel a lot better. My ankle feels much better, and I’m looking forward to
playing in the exhibition games. I want to see how well I can do.

Did it upset you to miss rookie camp:

No, because I wasn’t ready to skate hard. It was good to get therapy on my
ankle. Now I have no problems. We were working on it every day with
ultrasound, ice, and special workouts. Trainer Stan Wong designed workouts
for my ankle that lasted about 20 minutes every day. One more week and
therapy should be over, but right now it feels good and it’s not bugging me.

On the ice…:
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