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.

 

IHL News

by Andrew Bourgeois
on

IHL NEWS

CANUCKS MOVE FARM CLUB TO KANSAS CITY

The Vancouver Canucks have changed their farm team from the Syracuse Crunch
of the American Hockey League to the Kansas City Blades of the International
Hockey League.
Kansas City’s proximity to Vancouver factored into the switch, Brian Burke,
general manager of the NHL Canucks, said Monday.
The Canucks have signed a two-year agreement, the second year being
Vancouver’s option, with the Blades. Under terms of the deal, Vancouver will
supply 18 players to the Blades, plus a coaching and training staff.
Stan Smyl, who guided the Crunch to a 35-36-9-1 record in his first season
as a head coach, will be the Blades coach.

IHL FASTFACTS

On January 17, 1962 the Saint Paul Saints win the most lopsided game in IHL
history, a 20-3 drubbing of the Toledo Mercurys.

IHL TEAMS PLACE IN IHL HISTORY

Detroit Vipers: The Vipers had a league high 122 points in 1997 on their way
to capture the Turner Cup. That championship allowed the city of Detroit to
be the first city to capture two cups as the Detroit Red Wings won the
Stanley Cup the same year.

TODAY IN HOCKEY

June 28, 1985 the Detroit Red Wings sign undrafted free agent Adam Oates.

DID YOU KNOW

The St. Louis Blues are the only team to be swept in the Stanley Cup finals Read more»

Behind the Bench with Jerry York

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on
Boston College is a school that is full of hockey history and tradition, one of those traditions has been a winning hockey program. So it should come as no surprise to find out the man responsible for upholding said legacy is one who once played for the Eagles himself, Jerry York Since returning to his alma mater, York has lead the team to back to back Frozen Fours and with his recruiting haul this year, widely conceded to be the best in college, there is no doubt even more pressure, justified or not, on him to come home with the NCAA Championship. Recently Hockey’s Future had the opportunity to talk with Coach York about last season, this season, and all things Boston Hockey.

Hockey’s Future: While it’s obvious that it would have been nice to win the NCAA Frozen Four, how do you rate the season just passed? What were some of the things you had set out to accomplish with your team at the beginning of the year and did you get those things accomplished?

Jerry York: I think it was an excellent year from our perspective because our goal was to be among the elite of college hockey. I think traditions are built upon post-season play. We understand how difficult it is to win a national championship, but we also understand how hard it is to just get to the Frozen Four.

HF: Your team is a perennial threat in Hockey East. How would you compare this past season with the two before it?

Read more»

The Buffalo Sabres 2000 Draft Review

by Ken McKenna
on
Never let it be said that the Buffalo Sabres are predictable at the draft table, at least when it comes to making their 1st round picks.
Back in 1983, they chose high school goaltender Tom Barrasso with the 5th pick overall, which at the time was the highest a
goaltender had been chosen. In 1997, the Sabres called Finnish goaltender Mika Noronen’s name, a choice that was met with a
resounding chorus of “Who?”

Buffalo this year continued their tradition of risk-taking in the draft’s 1st round with the selection of Russian center Artem
Kriukov [6’3", 180lbs., Yaroslavl (RUS)]
. There is certainly a lot to like about Artem- he is a well-rounded package of
offensive skills, as he possesses above-average speed, good size, sharp playmaking skills and a good shot. The major knock against
Kriukov has to do with his health, specifically his susceptibility to concussions. Artem suffered a major blow to the head early in the
99-00 season, causing him to miss a good portion of the schedule. The Sabres claim that this is the only concussion Kriukov has
suffered, and that they are comfortable with using the 15th pick overall to draft him. There are conflicting reports, however, that
indicate that this may not be Artem’s first concussion, so the Sabres could well be whistling past the graveyard with this pick. To
sum up, Kriukov will either be a major find for the Sabres scouting staff, or he will be a black mark on a drafting record that has
otherwise been good in recent seasons.
Read more»