Michael Neal


Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (149th overall), 2007


187 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

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.



Appears to be a fringe AHL player at this point and may spend another year in the ECHL while competing for AHL call-ups.


Leafs prospects rankings 1-10

by Stephen J. Holodinsky

Leaf Prospect Rankings Redux (Part I)

Half a hockey season is a long time when it comes to developing players between the ages of 18 and 23. As such it only makes sense to take another look at the Leaf prospect ladder now and see how the yung’uns are shaping up. Are they picking up the skills they’ll need to compete in the big show according to plan? Are some lagging behind? Are some leapfrogging others? Here’s the latest:

1. Mikael Tellqvist-G:
Though Mike Minard has played the majority of minutes on The Rock this year, there are just too many positives in Tellqvist’s game to say that he will be anything but a starting goaltender in the NHL once he adjusts to the North American game. Will he be in the ACC by the end of the year? Will he be there to start the next one? Will he be there in 2003-2004? Who knows. When he does arrive though, it will be as more than someone to play one game in four.

2. Brad Boyes-C:
His recent WJC performance on the heels of a bout of mononucleosis has only solidified his spot at the second rung and maybe even moved him closer to the top one. He showed the ability to lead the charge to the net in the tournament which was something that hadn’t been part of his game until then. Definitely has the mean streak needed to make up for his lack of size in the pros. Demonstrated some unbelievable hand-eye co-ordination and was equally comfortable as a playmaker and a finisher. Great in the faceoff dot.

3. Carlo Colaiacovo-D:
One of the big leapers, the Erie blueliner was one of the best d Read more»

A Wheatie and a Hawk Named WHL Players of the Month

by League Press Release

Calgary – The Western Hockey League today announced the Players of the Month
for December in both the Eastern Conference and Western Conference.


In the Eastern Conference, which includes the East and Central Divisions,
the Player of the Month is forward Jordin Tootoo of the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The 18 year-old from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut recorded ten goals and 18 points
in ten games during the Month of December including three power-play goals
and two game-winning goals. He helped lead his team to an impressive 8
wins, one loss and a tie for the month.

Tootoo was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.


In the Western Conference, which includes the B.C. and U.S. Divisions, the
Player of the Month is forward Joe Balej of the Portland Winter Hawks.

Balej, a 19-year-old from Myjava, Slovakia recorded 14 goals and 23 points
in 14 games during the Month of December, including ten power-play goals, a
short-handed goal and one game-winning goal. Balej was drafted by the
Montreal Canadiens in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft.

Joe Balej is also a deserving choice as the Western Conference Player of the
Month for December.

WJC: Interview with Pär Bäcker

by pbadmin

HF: Sweden defeated the Czech Republic 2-1 yesterday, what are your impressions of that game?

Bäcker: We had most of the play but once again our biggest problem this tournament turned up again: scoring. That almost got us in trouble.

HF: How about the performance of team Sweden at the WJC so far?

Bäcker: We are still undefeated so……

HF: In the quarter finals you will meet Canada, who are favourites for gold.

Bäcker: Canada will be a very hard and tough game for us, but so would probably have been all of the other opponents we could have drawn. We will give our best and see what comes from it.

HF: What about your own performance so far at this WJC?

Bäcker: I’m playing an ok tournament so far. I’m satisfied with my own performance.

HF: What are your strengths and weaknesses in your game?

Bäcker: My strengths are my puckhandling and the ability to stay calm on the ice when needed. A thing I need to improve though is my shooting.

HF: You play for Färjestad, currently by far the best team in the Swedish league. What’s it like to be part of that team?

Bäcker: It’s great. Really fantastic. It’s a great club and I’m proud to be part of them at the moment.

HF: Jörgen Jönsson and Mathias Johansson have been selected in the Olympic squad for Sweden. Both are teammates of yours. What do you have to say about it?

Bäcker: That is really great for them and for the club as well of course. Both players are very good players. Johansson and Jönsson are Read more»

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