Michael Neal


Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (149th overall), 2007


187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B


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.


WHL Preview

by Tom Hoffert

With the pre-season firing on all cylinders, it is time to look into the new rules of play for the WHL. Junior hockey fans are in for a real change this season with new procedures like the “Fast Face-Off” and “4-on-4” regulation play. Yes, this may be the season fans learn to love our gifted men in black and white stripes. This year may put them in better graces with fans due to a host of contraversial rules handed down by the Canadian Hockey League. These rule changes will be in effect during the pre-season and regular season in all three CHL umbrella leagues: the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

New Rules Overview:

“Fast Face-Off”- This procedure will essentially give the linesman the ability to drop the puck on face-offs, regardless of whether both centres are ready for the drop. The rule is based on a 5-second line change (per team) and an additional allocation of 5-seconds to prepare for the puck drop. When the team line changes are complete, the linesman will blow his whistle, indicating no more than five seconds until the puck drop will occur. The obvious result of this rule will be that players must quickly get in position for face-offs, knowing the other team may gain control of the puck if they are not prepared. Face-offs are the beginning step in garnering control of the play, thus teams will emphasize the importance of this new rule to their teams. Fans will definitely be divided on their thoughts about this new regulation. Some will love the quicker speed, others will publ Read more»

Bridgeport Report

by Steve Feldman


NHL Cancels Weekends Games

The National Hockey League announced today that all games through Sunday, September 16 have been canceled. The regular slate of pre-season games will start on Monday, September 17.

Sound Tigers Attend Norwalk Oyster Festival
The Bridgeport Sound Tigers front office, players, and mascot attended the Norwalk Oyster Festival. Fans were able to meet players, purchase merchandise, and purchase tickets for the upcoming season. The team was on hand at the Big Boy Toy Show Tent.

The oyster festival is a major fundraiser for the revitalization of the Norwalk Harbor area. The celebration is held in Veteran’s Park in East Norwalk. Proceeds from each year’s festival also provide year-round funding for the Norwalk Seaport Association’s environmental Education Programs.

Emile Francis and Norman Poile Honored with New AHL Trophies Read more»

Panthers Training Camp Q&A’s

by Mark Fischel

Panther Training Camp Reflections

With the Panthers training camp getting the opportunity to move to the National Car Rental Center for the next few days, Panthers coaching staff turned up the intensity of the practices with a few new drills for the team. Working on up-tempo drills that emphasized puck movement, reduced space on the ice, and physical play, several of the Panther prospects had a chance to show off their skills. Hockey’s Future had the chance to ask some questions to a few of the players who will be playing tommorow in the intra-squad game.

Niklas Hagman

Hockey’s Future: Niklas, What has been your initial impressions of the training camp so far?

Niklas Hagman:Well last week I was at the rookie camp and that was ok. I got the chance to get used to the smaller rink and the more physical game style. I have been here three times on the ice and it has been nice to get to know the guys, and go to the ice and figure out the playing style. Its going okay.

Hockey’s Future: What do you feel the adjustments are that you will have to make from playing the Euro style to the North American style.

Niklas Hagman: Of course it is so different here than back in Europe. The rink is smaller and everyone is shooting everywhere. In Finland and in Europe, they try to pass it the open guy. I don’t see that there is too much for me to change the game, but you got to be ready because there will be more hits, and you got to shoot the puck more Read more»

Red Wings Camp Notes

by Jessica Haskin

As I stood watching the Red Wings out on the practice a doctor walked in
behind me looking for Pete Correia, the director of training camp. He
was there to find out where to park the motor home that contained
everything for a blood drive. The Red Wings had volunteered to donate
blood after their practices, scrimmages, and workouts of the day.

Trainer John Wharton approved of it from a medical stand point as long
as they ate and drank enough between working out and donating their

So after all of their on and off ice conditioning was completed the Red
Wings went out to the parking lot and donated their blood to help
restore the blood banks around the country in the aftermath of Tuesday’s

There were also other acts of kindness from the Red Wings giving a few
moments of their time with the handicapped who were there to watch the
practices and scrimmages.

Young Courtney Bailey, a 7 year old girl from Traverse City, MI, who’s
confined to a wheelchair was there to watch her favorite player, Kris
Draper, and the rest of the Red Wings. As Mathieu Dandenault walked by
getting ready to play in one of the scrimmages, he stopped to talk and
have his picture taken with her.

Draper, who’d been on the ice for Team B’s practice, was walking off the
ice past her and recognized her from two years before and stopped for a
chat. Courtney asked why he hadn’t responded to her letter that she had
sent him. Draper couldn’t remember receiving a letter from her but asked
for her address promising to write her when he got back ho Read more»

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