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.

 

Riding Shot Gun

by pbadmin
on
Keeping it close to home and within the organization has been an Oiler trait since the the team arrived in the National Hockey League. This shows loyalty, not only to the players and staff, but the fans as well.

Both new assistants bring different but valuable skills and experiences which will aid in forming a strong team concept with the emphasis on improving every time you hit the ice. Both coaches believe in the system in place and will add little wrinkles to the plan by bringing out the best qualities in each player.

Adding another former Oiler dynasty teammate in ex-defenseman Charlie Huddy was a fine choice, with his experience with the Rangers coaching staff and five Stanley cup rings, he brings a lot to the table. His first project this year is to personally tutor the likes of Tom Poti, Eric Brewer and Sean Brown which is the perfect opportunity fot the trio to take their individual games to the next level. I would not be suprised to see Poti make it to the All-Star Game this season, while Eric may have the break out year the scouts have been waiting for, since the style of play in Edmonton suits his talents. And maybe most importantly, guiding Sean into a dependable tough defensive defenseman that plays with more discipline.
Read more»

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on
Another in a series of weekly articles designed to summarize activities in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Pat’s Back: Pat Quinn returned to the Toronto area this week for a charity golf tournament and was heard complaining bitterly about the unwelcome influence of New York basketball types upon his beloved sport… frankly its great to see Mr. Quinn feeling so ornery and let’s hope that he can succeed in transferring this attitude to the troops in September… in organizational news, Quinn revealed that a new Director of Scouting and a 2nd Assistant Coach should be in place by the end of next week… former Flames boss, Al Coates, is no longer in the running for the front office position as he has already accepted a posting with the New York Rangers… John Anderson and Stan Smyl are thought to be front runners for the vacant coaching position…
Read more»

Capitals name new ECHL affiliate

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
The Washington Capitals announced their new East Coast Hockey League affiliate today – the Richmond Renegades. This move was necessary after the Caps’ former ECHL team, the Hampton Roads Admirals, moved to the AHL and signed a developmental agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks.

The Renegades were recently sold to a group called the Richmond Sports Partners, that included local investors as well as the Capitals and San Jose Sharks. Richmond was without an affiliation last season, but previously worked with San Jose, Carolina and the Islanders.

The Capitals organization will send up to five players to Richmond during the season for additional development. Some of the players that may spend time there are Goaltender Rastislav Stana and Defensemen Gerad Adams, Nathan Forster and Mike Siklenka.

This move also allows the Capitals management to keep a closer watch on their prospects, as Richmond is only 98 miles away from DC – 45 miles closer than the Admirals were. The Renegades will be led by Head Coach Mark Kaufman and his assistant – former Capital Rod Langway.

Also announced was an exhibition game to be played at the 11,088 seat Richmond Coliseum. The Capitals will be at the Freezer on Saturday September 23rd to take on the New York Islanders.

The Big Four only get one

by Brian Schultz
on
This title may not make sense at first glance, but the “bubble teams” love
it. The NCAA Ice Hockey committee has voted to
award an automatic bid to the MAAC conference. The committee also stripped
one automatic bid from each of the “big four”
conferences…WCHA, Hockey East, CCHA, ECAC. The committee has been trying
to push a plan through that would have
expanded the number of teams in the national tournament to 16 team (12
currently) but that proposal has failed each of the last
two years. While the regular season champion and the post season champion
were awarded bids in the past, only one team in
each conference will receive the automatic bid now. Each conference can
decide if they want that bid to go to the regular
season champ or the tournament champ.

While it may not seem like this will make that big of an effect, the
tournament selection committee may shy away from giving a
bid to a team that wins the regular season title, then, say, losses in the
first round of their tournament. Or, they may not give a
bid to a team that finishes in the middle of the pack in the regular season,
then wins a couple of upsets and wins the
tournament. The decision of the individual conference as to which team will
get the automatic bid will be a tough one…and one
that has huge implications.

In 1999 Denver beat North Dakota in the WCHA “Final Five” and received an
automatic bid. Even though they won their last Read more»

Dan’s BLACKmagic BURNing Opponents

by Dustin Nielson
on
The Kootenay Ice were known as a threat around the
WHL two seasons ago but were ousted by the Hitmen in first round
7 game thriller. A year later they returned the favor to the Hitmen
in the WHL semi-finals by brushing them aside in 5 games.

What was the difference?

Was it the “Money Line” who made the biggest impact. Sure
Mike Green, Jaroslav Svoboda and Zdenek Blatny made a difference
but they were not the answer.

Possibly the emergence of a group of d-men that complemented
each others game better then no other team in the Dub. Once again
the defense were a piece to the puzzle but not the most important.

The answer is a kid from Canmore, Alberta who was turning heads when
he hit the ice in rookie camp.

Dan Blackburn was the Ice’s first round pick in the 1998 Bantam Draft.
He was the highest goaltender ever selected in the WHL Draft when Kootenay
snagged him with the 3rd overall choice. Little did Ice management know but just
2 short years later that baby faced 15 year old would carry them to the WHL title
and a birth in the Mem Cup.

Blackburn made many jaws drop and heads turn as he started to perform brilliantly
in the early games at the Memorial Arena (a.k.a Silver Dome) in Cranbrook
B.C.

He plays a a cross between a Patrick Roy butterfly and Martin Brodeur paddle
on the ice style that seems to be very effective. Blackburn is always in position Read more»

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