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.

 

Behind the Bench with Peter DeBoer

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

When it comes to Peter DeBoer you might excuse some of the other coaches in the OHL for being a bit jealous. A babe in the woods by most counts at 31 years old, the coach of the Plymouth Whalers has, in his four years at the helm, finished first in his division twice, played for the OHL championship, won the OHL’s Coach of the Year twice, and just recently copped the CHL Coach of the Year honours. All that and a team brimming with NHL prospects to boot. Last week Coach DeBoer and Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to sit down and talk about his time in Plymouth and what might come next.

Hockey’s Future: You’ve just finished up what can be termed both a very successful season (finishing first overall) and a disappointing one (losing to Barrie in the playoffs). What are your thoughts on the year just passed?

Peter DeBoer: It was a special season. We were predicted to be in a fight just for a playoff position and ended up a game away from a championship.

HF: What kind of feeling did you have going into the Barrie series, putting your comparably inexperienced club up against a veteran club with as many offensive weapons as they had this year?

PD: We knew it would be a test. We were going to have to rely on our team play and discipline to overcome our obvious talent and experience deficiencies.

HF: What were some of the things you set out to do against the Colts and how did your strategies pan out?

Read more»

IHL Rookie Profile – Vlad Serov

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL ROOKIE PROFILE


Player: Vlad Serov
Birthdate: June 14, 1978
Hometown: Kiev , Ukraine
Weight: 5' 10"
Height: 175 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Right Wing

YEAR TEAM LGE GP G A PTS PIM

1996-97 Yaroslav Russia 20 10 9 19 4
1996-97 Ukraine JR INT 7 6 2 8 2
1997-98 Novgorad Russia 40 28 14 42 8
1998-99 Ft. McMurray AJHL 36 25 17 42 20
1999-00 Flint Generals UHL 17 15 11 26 23
1999-00 Manitoba Moose IHL 51 11 9 20 16

Vlad signed as a free agent with the Manitoba Moose on September 30, 1999.
Vlad is a very exciting hockey to watch. An excellent skater who uses his
speed to create things in the neutral zone. Vlad has dynamic talent. Sees
all the ice well and uses it to his advantage to create plays. Excellent
puck handler and is good on the one on one. Has a lot of shifty moves which
keeps the opposition guessing on what he will do with the puck. Uses
teammates well to create happenings. Has a lot of natural talent. A very
smart player who comes to play every night and gives 100% every shift. Late
in the 99-00 season Vlad was sent to the Flint Generals of the UHL where he
collected 15 goals, 11 assists for 26 points in 17 games, but later was Read more»

Hot List in Flames

by pbadmin
on
The Calgary Flames have answered a few questions in regards to which of their second-ranked prospect group will be getting a good shot to make the team with the release of their expansion draft protected list on Tuesday. However they may have raised more questions at the same time.

As little as five days ago the general assumption was that the Flames would protect two goaltenders, Fred Brathwaite and Jean-Sebastien Giguere. The surprise trade of Giguere to Anaheim was the first in new GM Craig Button’s administration and has many people scratching their heads. Very few people are outraged at the move but it has left many wondering what the team is up to. Giguere, ranked Calgary’s top prospect for much of the last two years, has neither been a disappointment nor good enough to change the “goalie of the future” designation to the “goalie of the present”. Despite that, the situation seemed perfect this year, Freddie was the number one and Giguere would be the season-long understudy. Button said that he made the trade because he did not want to lose a good fourth defenseman and eighth forward.
Read more»

IHL Rookie Profile – “Bubba” Berenzweig

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL ROOKIE PROFILE


Andrew "Bubba" Berenzweig
Position: Defense
Shoots: Left
Height: 6 ft 1 in
Weight: 215 lbs
Birth Date: 8/8/77
Birth Place: Arlington Heights, IL

Season GP G A Pim +/- PTS Teams

1999-00 79 4 23 27 - 49 Milwaukee Admirals
1999-00 2 0 0 0 0 0 Nashville Predators
1998-99 42 7 24 38 0 31 University of Michigan
1997-98 45 8 11 32 0 19 University of Michigan
1996-97 38 7 12 49 0 19 University of Michigan
1995-96 42 4 8 4 0 12 University of Michigan

Bubba was drafted by the New York Islanders as their fifth selection (109th
overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Bubba was captain of the 1996 NCAA
champion Michigan Wolverines and was named to the 1998 CCHA All-Star Second
Team and to the 1998 NCAA championship All-Tournament Team. Bubba is a solid
stay at home type of defenceman, but is known to join the rush occasionally.
He rarely gets caught out of position and is a good skater and a puckhandler.
Has a good hard shot with a quick release. Clears the net well
and sees the ice well when starting a breakout from his own end. Bubba is a
proven winner and with time in Milwaukee to polish his skills he should
see time on the Predators blueline.
Andrew was named IHL’s US-Born Rookie of the Year (McKenzie Trophy) for
1999-2000 season.
Read more»

Wild welcome Fernandez, Lukowich and Sutton.

by Brandon Vizenor
on

On Monday the Wild started to get a little more active in hockey by making a couple of trades.

Trade #1:

Andy Sutton, a third round selection in 2001, and a seventh round pick in this year’s draft from the San Jose Sharks for an eighth round selection in 2001 and
future considerations. Andy Sutton is a 1998 Graduate of Michigan Tech University. He was also named WCHA Co-Defenceman of the Year in 1997-98 and All-WCHA Second Team. The last two years Sutton split time between San Jose and and the Kentucky Thoroughblades
of the AHL. We will have to see in October if Sutton stays in the big show.

Andy Sutton's Career Stats:

Season Team League GP G A PTS PIM

94-95 Michigan Tech WCHA 19 2 1 3 42
95-96 Michigan Tech WCHA 33 2 2 4 58
96-97 Michigan Tech WCHA 32 2 7 9 73
97-98 Michigan Tech WCHA 38 16 24 40 97
Kentucky AHL 7 0 0 0 33
98-99 Kentucky AHL 21 5 10 15 53
San Jose NHL 31 0 3 3 65
99-00 Kentucky AHL 3 0 1 1 0
San Jose NHL 40 1 1 2 80
NHL TOTALS 71 1 4 5 145

Trade number two:

The Wild acquired goalie Manny Fernandez and defenseman
Brad Lukowich from the Dallas Stars in exchange for a
third round selection in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft and Read more»