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.

 

Stars Notebook (11/16/2000)

by Keith Riskey
on

Notebook — 11/16/2000

Utah Grizzlies Update

The Utah Grizzlies broke even this weekend. First, they smoked the Vipers
4-2 in Detroit on Friday, but the following evening maintained vanilla
status quo by falling to Grand Rapids by the identical score. It’s been a
break even road tour, and the Grizzlies have gone 3-3-0. But after Thursday’s
game at Milwaukee, the Grizzlies will finally head back home after their
weary road-trip still nursing a winning record (currently they are 8-6-0).
Once there, Utah will surely try to put more fuel in the gas tank and gear-up for a
tenacious home stand.

Top Utah Scorers


Player GP G A Pts
Greg Leeb 14 7 7 14
Jamie Wright 14 7 7 14
David Ling 12 5 5 10
Chris Wells 14 4 5 9
Alan Letang 14 2 7 9
Ryan Christie 14 5 3 8
Eric Houde 14 0 8 8

Jackman still Progressing
Read more»

Youthful Wildcats will have to grow up fast

by Derek Berry
on

It has been said that youth brings enthusiasm to a hockey team. While
this is true, youth cannot make up for experience. That’s something the
Northern Michigan University Wildcats lost a lot of after last season.
In fact, three of its five leading scorers from the 1999-2000
campaign-Roger Trudeau (17 goals, 8 assists, 25 points), Bryan Phillips
(6-14-20) and J.P. Vigier (9-11-20)-are no longer there.

Can the team be just as solid with the players they have coming back?
Head coach Rick Comley, one of the most honest coaches in college hockey
or any sport for that matter, is not sure experience equals solidity.
“I’m not so sure those two things go together,” says coach Comley, in
his 25th season with NMU and the only coach in their history. “There’s
no question with a senior goaltender and six returning defensemen that
we can be solid. The question is will we be?”

Indeed a very good question. Suppose one of those players goes down?
Suppose one of them isn’t performing up to their potential? What then?
That’s where, if your Northern Michigan, you hope that the experience
you gain from each game and each practice adds to the players
repertoires…in a hurry.

“It’s something we work on in practice, trying to give all of the
freshman and sophomores more opportunities, chances and ways to get
experience,” says NMU team captain and senior defenseman Mike Sandbeck.
“We have to keep everyone involved, because everyone has good days and
bad days. We have to keep everyone focused.”

Focus will be no problem in goal, with Marquette nat Read more»

Quality, Quantity Among OHL Draft-Eligibles

by Bob Chery
on
There is an impressive array of both quality and quantity
available this year from the OHL for the 2001 NHL Draft,
particularly at center and defence at the high end. There is
considerably more depth when compared to the 2000 crop.

It’s still early and no doubt things will change as the young
players log more and more games and begin to adjust, improve,
and emerge, but here are the preliminary returns for the Top 20
as the season passes the quarter-pole :

1. JASON SPEZZA C, No Team – Awaiting a trade from the IceDogs,
it will be interesting to see how Spezza fares in a different
environment. What can I say about this much talked about
prospect without sounding redundant? Probably nothing.

Has size and a superstar quality skill-set, vision, and hockey
sense which makes him an offensive scoring machine, especially
on the power-play. Does not have superstar quality speed or
acceleration. Has a good, accurate shot with a quick release on
the wrister, not so quick on the slapper.

2. STEPHEN WEISS C, Plymouth – A great skater who can carry the
puck to openings and sees the ice well. Elusive. Has great
anticipation. Can run a power-play from the half-boards, and his
speed on the penalty-kill enables him to forecheck aggressively
and get back into his zone in plenty of time. Will play defence
deep in his own zone. Not quite prototypical size but he will go
to the boards to battle for the puck when he has to, can keep
his feet when being hit, but is at his best picking up the puck
as the third man in. Ju Read more»

Norwegian U-20 in Germany

by Evan Andriopoulos
on
The National U-20 team appeared once again in the German Four Nations Tourney in Fussen that featured a USHL (USA) all star club made up of primarily 18 year olds as well as National U-20 team (Under 20) from Germany and Switzerland and were sent home packing.

Norway started with a 9-2 loss to Germany followed by a 10-2 blasting by the more physical US team and a 7-1 defeat by the more experienced Swiss.

The National Team was included up and comers Patrick Thoresen (Storhamar) and Lars Nagel (MS) but were simply overmatched. The National Junior Team is preparing for the World Junior B tourney also in Fussen, Germany later in December. While the prognosis is not good for a move up to Group A there is still a shot and much pressure lies on the shoulders of Thoresen and Nagel.


Full Roster Norwegian National U-20

GOALTENDERS             CURRENT CLUB
Halvor Haarstad Evjen	(Frisk Asker)
Mats Johansen	        (NTG/Lillehammer)

DEFENSE
Kim Brandvold           (Manglerud/Star)
Marius Fredriksen	(Stjernen)
Anders Helgesen	        (Stjernen)
André Høibyhagen	(Vålerenga)
Ola Johannessen	        (Lillehammer)
Svein Magnus Melgaard	(NTG/Lillehammer)
Petter Skolla	        (Manglerud/Star)

FORWARDS
Jonas Andersen	        (Sparta Sarpsborg)
Morten Bakkene	        (Frisk Asker)
Bjarte Bjønnes	        (Sparta Sarpsborg)
Anders Fredriksen	(Tingsryd (SWEDEN)
Lasse Fredriksen	(Furuset)
Peter Lorentzen 	(Stjernen)
Lars Peder Nagel	(Manglerud/Star)
René Sethereng	        (Frisk Asker)
Eirik Skadsdam Read more»

Czech NHL rookies – Josef Vasicek

by Robert Neuhauser
on
In this part I take a closer look at a player, who tries to fill the gap after Keith Primeau in Carolina. It’s a player with nearly the same size and the same leadership qualities. It’s Josef Vasicek.

Josef grew up in a small city of Havlickuv Brod, where he started to play hockey. He was only 5 and he soon became the young star of this provincial city. As long as Josef visited elementary school, everything was OK. But the city of Havlickuv Brod was too small for his talent. Josef had respectable talent and was one of the best players in the country at pee-wee age, but he wasn’t the top talent like Milan Kraft among the 1980 born. Compared to Milan, Josef didn’t have the chance to play hockey for the same time as Milan, as he is 9 months younger (born 09-12-1980). But he could take advantage of his good size. He was taller than most of the guys his age and because of his workouts he had enough strength to use it to his advantage. Josef developed his no-fear style and great play in front of the opponent’s net. The scouts of HC Slavia Praha recognized this fact as the team broke into the Czech Elite league in 1994. The new team wanted to build a solid core of bantam aged players, who were playing in the smaller cities, to have a good base for the future. Some players were supposed to step into the Elite team after their stint with Slavia’s midget and junior teams. Josef, called “Pepa” like all Josefs was one of those players. Slavia fought its way to the elite midget league, ELHD, and Josef contributed for both the Slavia Praha midgets and the Under-16 team. Mil Read more»

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