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.

 

Post Draft Review

by pbadmin
on
Mike Milbury was right on the mark in at least one remark following a daring series of events, his reputation is definitely on the line. Knowledgeable Islander fans collectively swallowed their tongues in shock or at least banged their heads on the nearest solid object after hearing of Milbury’s high stake trades. What at the end of last season was the most promising young goaltending tandem in league was decimated. Weekes was moved to Tampa Bay along with last year’s first round pick Kristian Kudroc to obtain the 5th overall pick. Not a bad maneuver considering that franchise caliber goaltender Roberto Luongo seemed ready to shoulder the load. However, that scenario was quickly shattered when Milbury’s next maneuver was announced. Roberto Luongo, the best prospect in hockey, and Olli Jokinen, the 3rd overall pick in ’97, were sent packing to the Panther for forwards Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish.
Read more»

Red Wings 2000 Draft Preview

by Matt Condon
on
The Detroit Red Wings enter this weekend’s 2000 Entry Draft not having drafted an NHL scorer since 1990, when they took Keith Primeau and Slava Kozlov with their 1st and 2nd Round selections. Yuri Butsayev, Detroit’s 2nd Round pick in 1997, has emerged as more of a Tomas Holmstrom type grinder than a scorer, and with a decent core of defensemen, led by Jiri Fischer, the Wings will definitely look to draft a goal scorer in 2000.
Read more»

Canucks 2000 Draft Preview

by pbadmin
on

Need for a Goalie

There is not a lot of hype to look forward to for Draft Day 2000 as there was last year. We all knew Pavel Brendl, Patrik Stefan, and Daniel and Henrik Sedin would go tops in the draft. We had no idea that it would be the Canucks drafting them 2nd and 3rd overall.

Draft Day 2000 could be interesting as well, the Canucks have a young talent pool, and management wants a young goalie. Could it be us that lands DiPietro? Or Brent Krahn? Maybe even a young sniper such as Gaborik or Hartnell.

Vancouver’s needs are pretty simple, goalies. It takes many years to become a solid backup. Dipietro has credentials, but likely not even Vancouver would have plans of him starting next year. Krahn has great potential.

Here is a look at the Top 4 Goalies


Goalie

1.Rick Dipietro Boston University, USA WJC, great puck handler, no. 1 goalie
2.Brent Krahn Calgary Hitmen WHL. 6 foot 4 no. 1 goalie.
3.J-F Racine Drummondville QMJHL, 6 Foot 3 no.1 goalie.
4.Peter Hamerlik Skalica Slovakia, Slovakia WU18, Struggling Prospect.

Only Racine, Krahn, and Hamerlik shall be available after the 23rd pick.

When Vancouver drafts

23, 42, 70, 92, 143, 207, 240, 271.

Lighting lose Bierk, sign Konstantinov

by pbadmin
on

Bolts lose Bierk, may replace him in Weekes

Just hours after the Lightning lost goalie of the future Zac Bierk, the
Bolts have reportedly replaced him and added a defenseman in the process.
The Tampa Tribune is reporting that a deal has been completed between the Lightning and Islanders. The Lightning would give the Islanders the number 5
selection in today’s draft, while the Islanders would send goaltender Kevin
Weekes and a prospect (reportedly monster 6’9” 255lbs. defenseman Zdeno
Chara).

Weekes played outstanding following his trade to the Islanders from
the Canucks a season ago, posting a .902 save percentage on the island.
Coach Steve Ludzik is very familiar with Weekes after coaching him with the
Detroit Vipers in the 1998-99 season where he posted 19 victories. Chara
brings the Lightning what they severely lack on defense, size. However it
also just creates a larger logjam on the Bolts blueline. This will lead to
trade speculation involving some of the younger defensemen in the Lightning
cupboard, especially if they add a veteran D-man.

The deal will also leave the Bolts with the number 8 selection,
which they should use, on a scoring forward. Alexei Smirnov, Martin
Samuelsson, and Nikita Alexeev are just a few of the prospects that should be
available. But GM Rick Dudley’s wheeling and dealing may not be over. There Read more»

Van Ryn Bids Adieu To Devils

by pbadmin
on

In a decision which could affect numerous NCAA players and NHL teams, an arbitrator declared 1998 New Jersey first round draft choice Mike Van Ryn to be an unrestricted free agent.

Van Ryn, drafted after his freshman year at the University of Michigan, left college after his sophomore season to play for the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League. He and his agents argued that a loophole in the NHL collective bargaining agreement made the young defenseman a free agent.

Arbitrator Lawrence Holden agreed with Van Ryn, a bitter pill to swallow for both the Devils and the NHL. It was hoped New Jersey would avoid an arbitrator’s decision and settle with Van Ryn.

The Boston Bruins had a similar situation in 1999 with former draft choice Ben Clymer who left the University of Minnesota in order to play in the Western Hockey League. However the Bruins relented after receiving pressure from the league, allowing Clymer to become a free agent and sign with Tampa Bay. This avoided the inevitable arbitrator’s decision setting a precedent for the future.

Van Ryn, a solid two-way defensman, should generate considerable interest from other NHL teams. He is certain to receive more lucrative offers than he had received from New Jersey.