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.

 

Hartford`s Dietrich Impresses

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
Dietrich the 22 year old has lots of speed, but struggled at the AHL level until about the last two weeks when he put his game into high gear. Dietrich has been flanked by fellow rookies Stefan (hardly a rookie) Cherneski, Richard Scott and Boyd Kane.

The Dietrich-Cherneski and Kane line was one of Hartford`s best in a 3-1 victory over Worcester Sunday. Dietrich scored his first professional goal off a beautiful pass from Stefan Cherneski, who recorded his first point since November of 1998. Kane recorded his second assist on the play.

The line has been working together and moulding into a potent down low hard working unit. Dietrich, who has been a healthy scratch for five games and been used sparingly in most of the 13 he has played knows his units role, to create chances and perhaps draw a penalty.

Dietrich was quoted in the Hartford Courant “It’s tough not playing, but you can’t sit and pout. You have to make the most of your chances. There are a couple of other guys in the same situation who are going out and trying hard. Chipping in the odd goal helps out. It takes a little load off and makes you feel a little better.”

LEAGUE NOTES

The AHL appears to be anti-Hartford when it comes to dishing out awards. Brad Smyth who recorded 6 goals in 4 games was left out of player of the week consideration as was new to club goalie Vitali Yeremeyev who recorded a shut out in his first appearance and recorded a 3-0 record with a goals against of 0.92.

Top 12 College Teams Rankings

by Erik Freeman
on

1. Michigan State

Comments: Tied with surprising Western Michigan. Faces tough test with # 2 Minnesota in the College Hockey Showcase.

2. Minnesota

Comments: Swept rival St. Cloud State while playing solid hockey. Must finish off teams and not allow them back into games. Look for a low
scoring battle with the Spartans.

3. North Dakota

Comments: Swept lowly Minnesota-Duluth. Has the top scoring line in the coutry with Bayda-Lundbohm-Panzer.

4. Western Michigan

Comments: Playing great hockey but must remain consistent. Proved it can play with the big boys as they tied the #1 ranked Spartans.

5. New Hampshire

Comments: Beat Boston College and University this weekend. Must continue to play consistent.

6. Boston College

Comments: Loss to New Hampshire hurts Boston College. Team has to improve it’s chemisty to continue to be successful.

7. Michigan

Comments: Heads into a tough test with Wisconsin and Minnesota this weekend. Must play solid defense against the Badgers Heatley and the
Gophers Pohl and Westrum.

8. Providence

Comments: Swept Northeastern and has played for the most part of the early season consistent hockey. Must continue in the rugged Hockey
East.

9. St. Cloud State

Comments: Needs to get things fixed after being swept by the Gophers. Offense must step it up for the Huskies.

10. Colorado College

Comments: Splits with Wisconsin after being swept by St. Cloud State. Someone nee Read more»

Recap of the tournaments of the Czech Under-16 and Under-17 teams

by Robert Neuhauser
on
In the first half of November it’s time for the junior national teams to challenge the teams from other countries to a series of games or a tournament. This is a chance welcomed by the NHL scouts, who can see the future stars together on the ice, competing against top prospects from other countries. And how were the Czechs doing?

The Under-16 team
The 1985 born guys had 3 games against the Under-16 team of Switzerland on their schedule. The event took place in small Czech cities Trutnov, Nove Mesto and Lomnice and the games were attended mostly by the parents of the players. Although the senior national team of Switzerland isn’t sometimes taken seriously by the other teams, the junior teams have to be. So has the new Under-16 team. The young guys have beaten the Czechs with a 2-1 record, proving they are a top team. They won the first game 5:3, the second the 3:1 and just in the third game the Czechs recorded a victory, 4:3, on goals by Petr Vrana and Ivo Kratena, each scoring two. The whole Under-16 team is led by the star first forward line with Olomouc “twins” Vrana and Kratena and scoring wonder Vojtech Polak of HC Becherovka Karlovy Vary (registered 7 goals in the last Under-16 team game in the series against Slovakia!) Also in this series Kratena and Vrana combined for 7 of the 8 goals overall scored by the Czechs (Kratena 3, Vrana 4). The first line is absolutely dominating in the Under-16 team and all three forwards can be taken as serious 2003 NHL draft prospects. It’s likely that they’ll have some size at that time (Polak is 5’11”, 160 lbs. by now, Read more»

Making the Grade – ICE Report Card

by Jeff Bromley
on
With over one-third of the 2000-01
season already in the books, the
Kootenay ICE encountering some
adversity of late and crucial tests coming
up in the next two weeks with two home
dates against Red Deer and games
against Regina, Kamloops and Calgary,
these next two weeks will be a good
indicator of just how good a club the
Kootenay ICE are. That being said, here
is a player by player, coaching and
management report card of performance
so far this season. There are some raving
reviews, some needs to be addressed
and concerns to be dealt with and some
question marks. Play along at home and
see who’s making the grade.

Management – Bob Tory
Have to admit that the ICE headman has evolved
into one of the shrewdest traders within
the WHL and his record proves it. The
solving of the ICE twenty-yr-old
situation by bringing in DeCecco and
Evans establishes definite foresight.
Evans will prove to be the steal in the
deal. Questions still remain about
another big d-man and protection for the
skilled forwards – I don’t think that
Tory’s trading days for this season are
done yet.
Grade – A-

Coach – Ryan McGill Read more»

Flyers Minor League Report

by Bill Meltzer
on

Philadelphia Phantoms (AHL) Report:

The Phantoms have really scuffled this season. Goals and wins have been hard to come by. Going into Saturday night’s game against Norfolk, the club sported an unsightly 6-11-0 record and had scored a paltry 37 goals (to 51 goals against) in the 17 games played.

After encouraging wins on Saturday and Sunday, however, Coach John Stevens is breathing a little easier. The goals came in bunches on Saturday, as the Phantoms blew out Norfolk 8-2. On Sunday, goaltender Brian Regan and the defense stepped forward, recording a 2-0 shutout.

Comings and Goings

Struggling backup goalie Dan Murphy has been demoted to Trenton (ECHL). Brian Regan , who was a perfect 8-0 and had a stellar .933 save percentage for the Titans, has been called up in Murphy’s place.

Since our last update, Petr Hubacek was recalled to the Flyers. He played one game before being sent down again. Hubacek has been battling the effects of a slight groin pull that kept him out of two games before his Flyers recall. The same problem led to one injury-related scratching for the big club before he was returned to the farm team. He has not missed any action since coming back to the Phantoms. For the AHL season, Hubacek has 1 goal and 2 assists in 8 games. The two helpers came on Saturday against Norfolk.

Ruslan Fedotenko and Todd Fedoruk are still on recall to the Flyers. Both have been impressive. Fedotenko, in fact, has played so well that may not be coming back to th Read more»

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