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.

 

Caps Open Camp

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
The moment Caps fans have been waiting for came on Friday, when training camp began for real. This is expected to be another banner season for Washington, as nothing less than a repeat of the Division Championship will do. Although the fight for spots in the lineup will be tough, the most difficult job belongs to Head Coach Ron Wilson. It is his task to pare down the roster to 23 players for opening day.

There are 27 players in camp who took part in an NHL game last seaon. Also in the hunt are several young players looking to establish themselves. 1999 first round selection Kris Beech is being projected as a future star and will be given every chance to make the team. 2000 draftee Bjorn Nord also hopes to be around in October – as he is in an all-or-nothing situation. If he does not stick with the Caps, he will return home to Sweden.

There are two players in camp on a tryout basis – Forward Greg Davis and Goaltender Tim Barlow. Davis is a big centre who will be entering his sophomore year at McGill University in Canada. He is a very talented offensive player, and scored 42 points in 38 games last season. Barlow is a former teammate of Rastislav Stana in Moose Jaw (WHL). He inherited the starting job with the Warriors after Stana was dealt to Calgary.
Read more»

Florida Panthers Announce Roster Moves

by Mark Fischel
on

HULL, QUEBEC – Florida Panthers Vice President and General Manager Bryan
Murray announced several roster moves following the 2000 NHL Prospects
Tournament today at Robert Guertin Arena. Five players will be returned
to their junior teams for the 2000-01 season – goaltenders Davis Parley
and Jean-Francois Laniel, forwards Mathew Sommerfeld and Travis Eagles
and defenseman Brad Woods. In addition, defenseman Daniel Passero and
forwards Aaron Goldade, Ian Jacobs and Benoit Morin will report to the
Louisville Panthers’ training camp to compete for spots with Florida’s
top affiliate. Jacobs is under contract with the Panthers, while
Passero, Goldade and Morin will try out for Louisville’s squad.

Several rookies will be held over to the Panthers’ main camp. Among
those held over for a second look are: goaltender Alexander Auld,
defensemen Michel Periard, Chris Eade, Rod Sarich and Kyle Rossiter, and
forwards Serge Payer, Eric Beaudoin, Ryan Jardine, Mike Green, Josh
Olson, Sean O’Connor, Mike Cirillo, Morgan McCormick and Eric Godard.
Right wing Denis Shvidki, who was unable to participate in the rookie
tournament due to injury, will also report to Florida’s main camp. The
prospects will be joined by the following Panthers veterans:

Goaltenders: Ryan Bach, Sean Gauthier, Trevor Kidd, Roberto Luongo,
Richard Shulmistra.

Defensemen: Chris Allen, Dan Boyle, Brad Ference, Bret Hedican, John
Jakopin, Lance Pitlick, Peter Read more»

Panthers Prospects Finish Fourth In Quebec Tournament

by Mark Fischel
on

HULL, Quebec – The Florida Panthers closed out the four-team 2000 NHL
prospects tournament today, falling 4-3 in a close, well-played game
against the Montreal Canadiens’ prospects at Robert Guertin Arena. The
Panthers led 2-1 entering the third period, but couldn’t protect the
advantage. The Canadiens out-scored the Panthers 3-1 in the final frame
and held off a furious comeback attempt to capture third place in the
tournament. Florida finished in fourth place, with a 1-3 record,
dropping a pair of one-goal contests. The tournament concluded with a
late game between Tampa Bay and Ottawa for the tournament championship.
The Panthers’ main training camp will begin Friday, as veterans report
to Hull. Physicals and off- and on-ice testing for the Panthers’
veterans will take place on Saturday.

FIRST PERIOD: The Canadiens went 0-for-4 on the power play in the first
period, but scored a shorthanded goal on Florida’s first attempt with
the man advantage. Ben Guite scooped up an errant puck at the Montreal
blue line and skated in on Panthers goalie Alexander Auld on a
breakaway. Guite beat Auld for his second goal of the tourney. Auld
stopped 14 of 15 shots in a busy first period, while Montreal goalie
Evan Lindsay stopped all 16 Florida shots. The Panthers were 0-for-1 on
the power play.

SECOND PERIOD: Auld (1999 draft pick, 40th overall) continued his fine
play in net and the Panthers’ offense came alive in the second period as Read more»

Islanders Training Camp Part One: An Overview and some tough questions.

by Bill Bennett
on

Yes, I wrote it.

Contend for the Stanley Cup this season 2000-01.

And yes, if that means without Zdeno Chara, so be it.

That is a very bold statement, but the fact is the Islanders for the first time in years have a strong young nucleus of players who are no longer
just happy to be in the Nhl, with several players entering their prime years and an ownership that added the talented veterans that were desperately
needed here for years, in addition this team now has the depth players in its minor league system, as well as an outstanding group of prospects that
have the ability to win one of the few spots on this years team and make a significant contribution.

Many of the players who are returning from
last years 24 win, 300 man games lost to injury season learned that they can beat any team in the Nhl last year because many of those wins came
against the best teams. The Islanders biggest problems was depth and inexperience and players were brought in to address both needs.

Along with a new ownership that will make the changes to improve this season.

Some Very Tough Questions:

1. It took eighty five points to make the playoffs in the Eastern Conference last season and ninety the year before that, how do the Islanders make up that kind of ground in one year?

Read more»

Wings and Blues Go for the Gold. Atlanta takes Bronze.

by Jessica Haskin
on
Some of the Detroit Red Wings and St. Louis Blues prospects stood around
the perimeter of the rink watching Nashville and Chicago play for fifth
place as they taped their sticks or just passed time before their game.
Sean Avery came out with three sticks, he took one and gave it to a
security guard asking him to give it to a kid in the stands. Avery took
another one and gave it to a girl of about 10 years old sitting in the
stands near the end where he could hand it up to her. Then he took his
remaining stick and started taping it.

The Red Wings and Blues filed out onto the ice for the start of the
game. When the first Red Wing skated out onto the ice the fans went
ecstatic cheering and stomping their feet.

JF Perras started in goal for Detroit and Stephen Wagner for St. Louis.

Perras stoned Justin Papineau on a point blank shot from the left of the
net four minutes into the game. Aaron Fox found a hole though in Perras
2 minutes later when he scored an unassisted goal. Fox skated into the
offensive zone and fired the puck over Perras’ left shoulder.

With less than two minutes to go in the first period St. Louis took a
high sticking call. Magnus Nillson scored on the man advantage with
helpers from Jason Williams and Sean Avery.

Tim Verbeek took two minutes for holding with 34.5 seconds left in the
period.

Fourteen seconds into the second period Avery drew a minor penalty for Read more»