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.

 

Pat’s G.M. bucking the trends

by Jeff Bromley
on

Pat’s G.M. bucking the trends

After the Regina Pats came away the victors after last Sunday’s tilt against the Kootenay ICE by a 3-1 margin, the first thought that occurred to me was that the club that sold its future in order to compete as hosts of the Memorial Cup last season had pulled a fast one. If this club sold the farm in order to be competitive, it appears that Pats might just have more than one farm lying around.

The Regina Pats supposedly sold their future and this year they were supposed to be ‘rebuilding’, which in hockey terms is a nice word for terrible. Apparently somebody forgot to relay that message to G.M. Brent Parker and his Pats. “Yeah,” laughed Parker. “I’m hearing that more and more lately. I mean, I can understand why people thought what was going to happen, would happen. But we had a lot of faith in our people and they’re proving a lot of people wrong.”

When the city of Regina was awarded the right to host the 2001 Memorial Cup some seventeen months before it was played, most agreed that the location chosen would be more than up to the task. As for the hockey club playing as the host entry however, that’s where concerns of the franchises’ competitiveness emerged. Coming off two consecutive sub-500 seasons but heading in the right direction, the question was would the Pats have developed enough to produce a club that would be more than a lame duck host.

By Christmas of 2000 that answer was becoming increasingly clear. The Pats were hovering around the .500 mark and struggling just to stay there. Most everyone new what was c Read more»

Radim Vrbata Making Noise In The NHL

by Brandon LeBourveau
on
The ride for Radim Vrbata has been a long one, but he certainly seems to be headed down the right path. After being selected in the first round (18th Overall) of the 1998 CHL Import Draft by the Hull Olympiques of the QMJHL, Vrbata enjoyed a successful first season in North America during 1998-99. The 6’0 175 pound native of Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic recorded 22 goals, 60 points and 16 penalty minutes in 54 games that season. His rookie point total doesn’t rank anywhere close to the league’s rookie record, but it was a good season for him in the eyes of many. He learned how to adapt to the smaller sized North America rinks, as well as the more physical brand of hockey that is played on this side of the Atlantic. Vrbata was ranked 48th overall among North American skaters by Central Scouting for the 1999 Draft, but the speedy Czech winger found himself waiting until the 7th round to hear his name as the Colorado Avalanche took a flyer on the kid at 212th overall. The reason for dropping to the bottom of the 7th round is clear. This was yet another case of scouts overlooking a high-scoring player from the QMJHL who lacked NHL-caliber size.
The following season, in 1999-00, Radim was back in the QMJHL with the Olympiques and improved on his rookie season totals by 14 points. In 58 games, he scored 29 goals and added 45 assists for 74 points. Vrbata had 12 points during 15 playoff games that same year, but Hull wasn’t able to go all the way during the playoffs. That summer, the Olympiques dealt him to the Shawinigan Cataractes, a move that definitely turned out Read more»

Top 5 prospects Mid-Term Report Card

by Megan Sexton
on

Alexander Svitov
Team: Avangard (Russia)
Grade: MIA

One of the few things Svitov needs, besides out of the Russian Military, is what he is not getting…ice time.  He has received limited time,
mostly on the fourth line, in the few games he was able to play with Avangard. 
Caught in a loveless triangle involving the Russian Military, the Tampa Bay
Lightning and Avangard’s President, Anatoliy Bardin, Svitov is merely a pawn in
the political war and is getting the short end of the deal.

Nikita
Alexeev

Team: Springfield (AHL)
Grade: C Read more»

Giants Snap Winless Streak At 13

by Jason Nacci
on

A strong 3rd period for the Giants resulted in a refreshing 6-3 win over the Tri-City Americans on Tuesday night. Bucking a recent trend, the Giants play actually improved as the game progressed, and they never trailed in the contest.

Several Vancouver players had strong, productive games, and Donald Choukalos was rock solid between the pipes making 32 saves. To echo coach Milan Dragicevic’s thoughts, between Choukalos and Brett Jaeger, there is no goaltending weakness with this team.

The last game between these two teams on October 28th saw the Americans notch 5 goals in the first period and cruise to an 8-2 win. There would be no such blow-out for the visitors on this night …

The Giants should have led 2-1 going into the first intermission, but Tri-City centerman Tyler Dyck slid the puck between Choukalos’ skate and the post just as the buzzer sounded. A late goal like that could have been demoralizing for the expansion Giants. However, to their credit Vancouver came out and played stronger in the 2nd frame than the first, and got the go-ahead short-handed goal in the 6th minute. Darren Lynch was fore checking in the Americans’ end, stole the puck from the Tri-City defenseman, moved out in front of the net and put it past Americans’ netminder Tyler Weiman.

At 4:25 of the third period, the Americans tied the game on a lucky goal. Jason Beeman took the shot, it pinballed off a couple skates and surprised the goalie, then dribbled in across the line.

The turning point of the game came just a minute later, with the Lynch – Nick Mara Read more»

Kings in Salt Lake

by Sean Speer
on

With the December 22nd deadline for finalized Olympic rosters fast
approaching, there has been much speculation regarding what players will be
named to each countries teams. The Los Angeles Kings are a team with only
one player named to a team as of yet, but have a number of players from all
over the world, who may be chosen to represent their countries come Feburary
9th, the opening day of the men’s preliminary round.

Kings defencemen Mattias Norstrom has already been selected along with
the Wings Nicklas Lidstrom and Vancouver’s Mattias Ohlund to man the
blueline for Team Sweden. Norstrom has not been exceptional so far this
season, but has continued to be solid defensively and should play a fairly
significant role on the Swedish team.

Jere Karalahti has also struggled a little bit this season, but may have
the opportunity to be selected to play for Team Finland. The Finnish team
has already named Janne Niinimaa, Teppo Numminen and Kimmo Timonen to the
team, but Karalahti has to be considered a frontrunner for a remaining spot
along with Calgary’s Toni Lydman and Dallas’ Jyrki Lumme due to a lack of
quality Finnish defencemen.

The US team’s scouts must have watched a nmuber of Kings’ games this year
because there are 4 players who could potentially play in the Olympics for
Herb Brooks. Before Mathieu Schneider was forced on to injure reserve by a
hernia, he was playing exceptionally well. He taken over the Kings’
powerplay from departed Rob Blake and remains 13th in defencemen scoring in
the League, behi Read more»

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