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.

 

Sens News and Notes for the Week of September 18th

by Nathan Estabrooks
on

Cuts

Notables relieved from camp include Julian Vauclair, Alexandre Giroux, Jason Maleyko, Layne Ulmer and Antoine Vermette. Vauclair was sent back to Europe while the others will most likely be playing in the CHL this year. Giroux has a shot with Grand Rapids.

Injuries

John Gruden suffered a bruised tailbone but is expected to continue training camp. John has been fingered as a possibility on this years blue line. In last year’s camp Gruden was also injured. Chris Phillips suffered a minor groin pull and most likely will wait out the exhibition games.

Surprises

After looking timid in the rookie camp Martin Havlat has bloomed into a budding star. This weekend against the Oilers Havlat had a spin-a-rama and a goal scorer’s missile. At this point Havlat will make the regular season roster and depending on how he performs in the first 10 games has an outside chance to stay with the big team. You should expect Havlat to be playing somewhere in the CHL this season.

In the first exhibition game of the season Chris Neil found himself on line with Alexi Yashin and dropped the gloves with Florida heavyweight Paul Laus. The former Centennial has turned more then a few heads in camp. For a team looking to add toughness Neil is just sort of player needed. Probably a mid-season call up with an outside chance of catching on. Next year is his year
Read more»

DiPietro On Shelf as Islanders Preseason Begins with Losses.

by Bill Bennett
on
Isles GM Mike Milbury regardless of the injury is standing behind his comments through most of the summer: “It’s a tough break for the kid, but it
doesn’t eliminate his chances of making the team. He’ll still get a look from us. If it happens for Rick right away, it happens. We all think it’s
going to happen sooner or later, but there is no urgency. It would be fun and it’s exciting. He’s a first overall pick. But if the timing isn’t
right, it’s not right.”

If Rick DiPietro is ready to play the only realistic chances he will get are against the Rangers or New Jersey in the final two preseason games in early October.

DiPietro will be sent to the IHL if he does not make the team.

The Islanders began the preseason Thursday and Friday against Philadelphia.

Both games were typical early preseason with lots of penalties called so the NHL can send the politically correct message that it never follows up on once November rolls around. The Islanders lost both games by scores of 4-2 in Trenton, and 2-1 in Philadelphia.

A few notable items that fans should like from the first two games:

Oleg Kvasha: Has been impressive. Got big minutes for an early preseason game on Thursday, and
deflected in the Isles only goal on Friday before a spearing penalty ended his night. Looked lost playing the point on the power play.

Mark Parrish: Had lots of chances and played well in Trenton.

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Kyle Wanvig: Out of the Shadows, Into the Spotlight

by Vincent Fusaro
on
Remember this name: Kyle Wanvig. You may be very glad you did. Here’s a few reasons why: 1) at 6′ 2″, 200 lbs, he’s pretty big for a 19 year old. 2) he loves gritty, crash-and-bang hockey, but possesses a good deal of offensive skill. 3) he’ll drop the gloves in defense of himself or a teammate, and, most importantly, 4) he models himself after Cam Neely. ‘Nuff said, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, uncertainty has followed the young right wing’s career thus far. This year may be the deciding one for Wanvig- is he the heir to the great Neely or is he the next Landon Wilson?

A solid, well-balanced, but unspectacular skater, Kyle Wanvig is not a flashy player. In the mold of forwards like Bill Guerin and his childhood hero, Neely, Wanvig drives to the net using brute force. Many of his goals come off rebounds, as he uses his frame to clear the front of opposing nets. He also possesses a rocket of a shot- a trait that, combined with his love of the rough stuff, could make him a Beantown favorite in no time.
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Sabres Report: Warming Up to the Ice Age

by Ken McKenna
on

The Buffalo Sabres 2000 training camp is now a week old, with the team wrapping up their “group hug” road trip in that well-known hockey hotbed, South Carolina. As usual, the annual embargo on training camp news is in place, but there have been some rumblings regarding the play of a couple prospects that are making a push to start the season in Buffalo.

One of those prospects, RW J.P. Dumont, is turning heads with his offensive play. Dumont was acquired in the seemingly one-sided trade with the Blackhawks that also brought Doug Gilmour to Buffalo. Rather than simply being a trade throw-in, however, J.P. has looked like the offensively gifted forward many scouts felt he would become, as he tore up the AHL last season in the late regular season and playoffs. Dumont has continued his strong play in training camp, displaying the nifty moves and quick release needed to become a scorer in the NHL. According to the Buffalo News, Dumont has been used on the LW due to the glut of veteran RWs on Buffalo’s roster, but this move has not affected J.P.’s game so far. Dumont has the coaching staff grinning from ear-to-ear, not just because of his offensive play, but also because he has shown the toughness and desire needed to be an impact player in the NHL.

Read more»

Wings Trim Roster as Traverse City Training Camp Comes to a Close

by Jessica Haskin
on
The Detroit Red Wings had their final practice this morning at 10:00
a.m. Steve Duchense suited up for the first time this week and
practiced with the team, although he wont be able to play any games for
2 more weeks.

Chris Chelios who didn’t practice yesterday due to a sore back was back
skating today and said that he was fine for tonight’s game.

An intrasquad scrimmage at 7:00 this evening at the Van Andel Arena in
Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Manny Legace was very relaxed this morning, as were most of the players,
Legace was standing by the boards waiting for his turn in net. He
decided that while he was waiting he’d “practice” throwing his stick
down in disgust. The more people laughed at his actions the more
animated he became. He had to stop though when it was his turn to
really practice, stopping the pucks. But when he let one in all his
“practice” had paid off and he threw his stick up in the air in disgust.

After practice was over management, volunteers, and about half the
players had a group photo on the ice. The other half of the players
were coming but got off the other rink too late.

Ken Wregget stopped and signed autographs as he was going to the locker
room, giving a young boy his stick. The young boy was elated and Ken
Wregget mad a new friend, and fan.

As the players got ready to go there were all the good-bye’s until next Read more»

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