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.

 

BCHL Player Profile: Brett Skinner

by Glenn Fugate
on

Playing on a hockey club that is struggling can be difficult and the Trail Smoke Eaters are currently in last place.The Smokies only have one rear guard over 18 years old. Despite this Brett Skinner is having a good year. Skinner plays heads up hockey. He’s not a speedster but but he has a smooth stride and skates well. Not a overly physical defenseman Skinner uses other skills to showcase his game. At 6-1 170 pounds, Skinner has room to fill out and the hitting will increase with maturity. This first year player has his head up and makes alot of smart passes, short ones, a touch of the puck at the last moment springing a teammate free. Skinner seems to be able to find the guy on his club who is skating with a short solid pass not someone who is standing still. These type of passes are important in getting the biscuit out of your own end of the ice. This 17-year-old from Brandon, Manitoba had plenty of ice time including the power play. Currently,Skinner is third on the Smokies in points with 8G 23A in 54 games. Add in 37 penalty minutes and you have pretty impressive numbers for a 17-year-old, first year player in any junior league. This defenseman is smart, a player with good vision and good skills. If the Smokies can keep this player and the rest of this young group of d-men together they could make some noise in the future.Honorable mention to both goalies on this club, especially Isaac Reichmuth who played a good game in a 4-0 loss Feb. 16th against the Prince George Spruce Kings.

In other news the NOJHA defeats the BCHL 6-2 in Sault Ste. Marie. M Read more»

“Live and Learn” HF’s interview with Brad Ference

by jennifer-mccarty
on

A Louisville First – Defenseman Brad Ference Named Sher-Wood’s Player of the Week

Interview by: Jennifer McCarty

“Live and learn” could be Brad Ference’s motto. It’s no secret, Brad Ference has had his ups and downs this season. From a broken jaw at the beginning of the season, until this week’s Player of the Week award, it’s been a rough road. I got the opportunity to interview Ference this week on his views of the season up until now. The highs and lows tend to come at you when you least expect it and for this defenseman, he knows first hand.

Ference currently leads Louisville defensemen in point scoring with two goals, 14 assists for 16 points.
Read more»

Who on the farm can audition?

by Bill Placzek
on

Who, on the farm we audition?
As Alpo hopes for new actors in his theatre company, and Mike Smith runs out of players of any real trade value, now is when the Hawks will be evaluating just who might possibly help the team until the Mike Smith drafts are ready for their auditions.

Picked in the 1995 draft, defensemen Marty Wilford, and forward Casey Hankinson remain Hawk property and play as minor pros. Hankinson, presently playing in Hampton Roads, shows average scoring ability and steady defensive play possibly penciled in as a 4th liner. At present, the Blackhawk major league club has almost three lines of the same.
Wilford, also drafted as a Chicago Cub pitcher, is a chunky six footer who has played well on the minor pro level, but is probably not quick enough for the present pro game.

Geoff Peters and Jeff Paul are all that remains from the 1996 draft where the Hawks traded their first round pick for two numbers twos, the third being the departed Remi Royer. San Jose picked Marco Sturm with the #1 and has never looked back.
Geoff Peters produces good all around play and could project as the next Chris Herpinger, a utility forward who always plays hard and does many things decently. And he fits the Chicago salary structure.
Jeff Paul has not shown enough progress to expect him playing in Chicago at this time. The smaller Hawk defensemen are better transition players and it is clear the Alpo system is “transition is much more important than transgression.”
At present, Kyle Calder has be the most intriguing of the class of 1997. An un Read more»

Stats and standings from the new german junior league DNL

by Oliver Janz
on

Stats from the new top german junior-league DNL
(A junior league for the over ’83-born players) – Stats updated: February, 17th

Standings:
1. SC Riessersee – 31 GP, 163:85 goals, 52 pts.
2. Mannheimer ERC – 29 GP, 149:73 goals, 47 pts.
3. Neue Eisbären Berlin – 32 GP, 107:89 goals, 39 pts.
4. Berlin Capitals – 30 GP, 123:118 goals, 30 pts.
5. Star Bulls Rosenheim – 31 GP, 149:127 goals, 30 pts.
6. Kölner EC – 27 GP, 120:109 goals, 25 pts.
7. EV Landshut – 31 GP, 111:143 goals, 25 pts.
8. Krefelder EV – 29 GP, 101:128 goals, 23 pts.
9. ES Weißwasser – 30 GP, 121:155, 21 pts.
10. Frankfurter ESC – 29 GP, 113:175 goals, 19 pts.
11. Augsburger EV – 29 GP, 94:149 goals, 17 pts.

Top-Scorer:
Pos. / Player / Team / Born / Games played / Goals / Assists / Points
1. Marian Rohatsch (Rosenheim, 15-06-83) 30 GP, 22 G, 34 A, 56 PTS
2. Christoph Melischko (Riessersee, 25-07-83) 31 GP, 34 G, 21 A, 55 PTS
3. Danny Albrecht (Weißwasser, 17-01-85) 30 GP, 20 G, 34 A, 54 PTS
4. Markus Zappe (Mannheim, 22-06-83) 26 GP, 24 G, 29 A, 53 PTS
5. Stephan Gottwald (Rosenheim, 20-09-83) 28 GP, 33 G, 17 A, 50 PTS
6. Alexander Kanellopulos (Capitals, 11-02-84) 30 GP, 29 G, 21 A, 50 PTS
7. Frank Bertele (Augsburg, 28-03-83) 26 GP, 27 G, 22 A, 49 PTS
8. Yannic Seidenberg (Mannheim, 11-01-84) 27 GP, 13 G, 35 A, 48 PTS Read more»

Oilers Prospect Update Part 1

by pbadmin
on
Without a strong farm team in the AHL this franchise is in a distinct disadvantage since it does not have the resources to make up for mistakes on draft day or in the developmental stage.

Shawn Horcoff
Hamilton GP:24 G:10 A:18 PTS:28 +/- -7 PIM:19
Edmonton GP:24 G:5 A:4 PTS:9 +/- +1 PIM:2
– Outstanding first quarter as a rookie in the AHL showing strong two-way play. Has adjusted well to the NHL and will progress to the next level with the experience from this year and training camp next season.

Mike Comrie
Kootenay GP:37 G:39 A:40 PTS:79 +/-(+23)PIM:79
Edmonton GP:16 G:2 A:2 PTS:4 +/-(+2) PIM:2
– Would have benefited greatly if he had started the season in Hamilton along side Horcoff instead of going to Cranbrook a quicker adjustment could have been made. Shows flashes of exceptional vision and playmaking ability, will have greater patience to let plays develop with experience. Needs to shoot more as he would create more scoring opportunities with his quick accurate shot.

Michel Riesen
Hamilton GP:41 G:10 A:18 PTS:28 +/-(-15) PIM:6 Read more»

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