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.

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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.

 

2003 draft promises to be fantastic

by Jake Dole
on
Although the 2002 draft is still 6 months away, a lot of talk and news are going around about an NHL draft that could be the best ever. If you thought that the two-way race of Jason Spezza and Ilya Kovalchuk is exciting, you might be surprised to know that in the 2003 draft, there could be 5-10 potential candidates for the top spot overall.
The 2002 draft looks to be an average one, in comparison to most, more comparable to the one taking place in 2000. A lot of the players are considering passing the draft as well, such as the Austrian Thomas Vanek and the American blueliner Mark Stuart. This would only forebode a potentially mind-boggling first round extravaganza in 2003.
The European invasion will be the most noteworthy of that class. Excellent players will be eligible from Russia, Sweden, Finland and the Czech Republic. The United States and Canada will offer solid depth of talent, but it will be overshadowed with the plethora of Europeans. Needless to say, this could be the first time Europeans outnumber North Americans in the first round in history of NHL drafts.
Here is the sneak peak outlining some of the talent eligible for the 2003 draft:

Steve Bernier , Right Wing – A feisty, physical player is turning heads in the Quebec hockey league.

Dustin Brown , Right Wing — 32 goals in 35 OHL games this year.

Braydon Coburn , Defense – A Saskatchewan kid is a combination of size and skill with the Portland Winter Hawks of the WHL.

Denis Ezhov , Defense – A stay Read more»

Czech Under-20 team: WJC preview

by Robert Neuhauser
on
The long waiting is finally over. The whole Czech hockey nation is looking forward to see
another top bunch of junior-aged players fight for gold. The excitement is even increased
by the fact that the host Czech Republic won the last two WJC titles. People want to see
their players win gold again.
To fulfill the wish, head coach Jaroslav Holik, father of New Jersey Devils’ Bobby Holik,
selected 22 top 1982 and 1983 born players along with one 1984 born, tremendously talented
Jiri Hudler. Among those players are nine CHL players which is an unprecended number. CHL
additions showed to be a huge boost to the team both on and off the ice in the previous
seasons and so this number leaves most likely nobody to shake his head. This year’s team
is solid in goal with Lukas Hronek and Michal Fikrt, the defense corps boosted with five
CHLers look to be the biggest weapon of the team and the forward lines look balanced, too.
From skyscrapers like Martin Podlesak or Jiri Jakes to smallish speedsters like Jiri Hudler
or Frantisek Lukes. Read more»

WJC rosters

by Robert Neuhauser
on

Czech Republic

Goaltenders
Lukas Hronek (HC Slavia Praha)
Michal Fikrt (HC Chemopetrol Litvinov)

Defensemen
Filip Novak (Regina Pats, WHL)
Libor Ustrnul (Plymouth Whalers, OHL)
Petr Chvojka (Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL)
Lukas Krajicek (Peterborough Petes, OHL)
Tomas Mojzis (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)
Miroslav Blatak (HC Continental Zlin)
Lukas Pozivil (HC Chemopetrol Litvinov)
Jan Hanzlik (HC Sparta Praha)

Forwards
Tomas Plekanec (HC Vagnerplast Kladno)
Jiri Novotny (HC Ceske Budejovice)
Ales Hemsky (Hull Olympiques, QMJHL)
Frantisek Lukes (Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, OHL)
Jiri Jakes (Brandon Wheat Kings, WHL)
Jiri Hudler (HC Vsetin)
Petr Prucha (HC IPB Pojistovna Pardubice)
Martin Podlesak (Lethbridge Hurricanes, WHL)
Miloslav Horava (HC Vagnerplast Kladno)
Jan Bohac (HC Liberec)
Jaroslav Sklenar (HC Senators Rosice)
Michal Vondrka (HC Ceske Budejovice)
Radek Dlouhy (HC Slavia Praha)

Canada

Goaltenders
Pascal Leclaire (Halifax Mooseheads, QMJHL)
Olivier Michaud (Shawinigan, QMJHL)

Defensemen
Jay Bouwmeester (Medicine Hat Tigers, WHL)
Dan Hamhuis (Prince George Cougars, WHL)
Nick Schultz (Minnesota Wild, NHL)
Nathan Paetsch (Moose Jaw Warriors, WHL)
Carlo Colaiacovo (Erie Otters, OHL)
Jay Harrison (Brampton Battalion, OHL)
Mark Popovic (Toronto St. Michael’s Majors, OHL)

Forwards Read more»

Merry Christmas with Marco Sturm

by Oliver Janz
on





You spent the last weeks home in Germany, the same procedure as every year


He’s a fan favourite in Germany, he’s 23 years old, he plays for the San Jose Sharks and his name is Marco Sturm. Sturm is currently in his fifth NHL-season. Maybe, this his best season. He scored 11 goals and recorded six assists for a total of 17 points in 35 games. Other interesting stats: he scored three Power Play Goals, three Short Handed Goals and three Game Winning Goals, too.

San Jose Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Dean Lombardi announced today that left wing Marco Sturm has been named to the German Olympic team for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

In addition, the Sharks have granted Sturm permission to compete in Germany’s two Olympic Qualifying contests on Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 versus Slovakia and Austria, respectively. Sturm will play for San Jose on Feb. 8 vs. Chicago, miss the Sharks game on Feb. 10 vs. Carolina and return to the team for their Feb. 12 contest at Edmonton.

Sturm will fly with the private jet from Dean Lombardi to Salt Lake City … enjoy the interview:

HF: You spent the weeks leading Read more»

Habs’ Prospects Improving

by Chris Boucher
on
When trying to determine whether a player will develop NHL calibre skills, we tend to look at how that player is improving year to year. A prospect is just that; a prospect. Only by improving year to year will any player develop the skills necessary to produce at the NHL level. Skating, speed and strength are difficult attributes to measure on a year to year basis. They are far less tangible than raw stats, but in no way less important. The easiest way to measure a player’s improvement is by breaking down their production into a point per game basis, then comparing that number to the previous year’s total.

When comparing The Montreal Canadiens’ prospects’ point per game totals from this season with those of a year ago, Chris Dyment shows the greatest improvement. The 22-year-old defenseman rebounded from a difficult 00-01 season to put up numbers similar to those from his 99-00 campaign. The 6’3″, 202-lbs. defenseman averaged 0.30 PPG last season. Sixteen games into this season he’s averaging a solid 0.75 PPG; an improvement of 0.45. Dyment is one of Boston University’s co-captains, and plays on the Terriers’ number-one defensive unit with highly touted prospect Ryan Whitney. Dyment was chosen in the fourth round of the 1999 NHL Entry Draft.

An impressive second to Dyment is Michigan’s Mike Komisarek. The Habs’ chose Komisarek with their first pick during the 2001 draft. He has already registered more points this year than he did during the entire 00-01 season. The 6’4′, 228-lbs. defenseman averaged only 0.38 PPG last year. Through 18 g Read more»

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