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.

 

Nashville Predators 2000 Draft Review

by Greg Andrade
on
After a wild mix of trades and surprise selections in the top five of the 2000 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators used their sixth overall pick to make a very safe pick and selected Scott Hartnell of the Prince Albert Raiders. Hartnell is a 6-2 192-pound right wing who was ranked third among North American skaters in both the mid-season and final CSB rankings. Hartnell is a gritty forward whose greatest assets are his character, leadership and work ethic. His character landed him the captaincy in Prince Albert, even at only 17 years of age. But he also has impressive talent.

Hartnell has decent speed and is quick in making decision with the puck. He has very good passing skills and is very adept at setting up teammates for goal scoring chances. He is an aggressive forechecker who loves to work in the corners and play a physical game. Hartnell plays a solid all-around game and is a complete hockey player. He was clearly a safe and sound pick for the Predators, who until now have lacked a true leader and character player in their organization.

“Character always factors in,” said GM Davd Poile after Hartnell was selected. “He’s the type of player our scouts like to say you can win with and win with in the playoffs.”
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Flyers 2000 Entry Draft Review

by Bill Meltzer
on
The Philadelphia Flyers swung for the fences at the 2000 NHL entry draft, taking a series of hit-or-miss forward prospects and abandoning the conservative post-first round approach they’ve usually taken since Bob Clarke returned as the Flyers general manager.

With their first two picks, the Flyers attempted to address their area of greatest organizational weakness-lack of speedy, offense-oriented forwards. They went for a pair of late-1981 born players: Ontario Hockey League right winger Justin Williams and a Russian winger, Alexander Drozdetsky, who is already a member of the SKA senior roster. The Flyers did not have a choice in the second round; the pick went to Carolina to complete the Keith Primeau trade.

On the second day of the draft, the Flyers traded their fourth round pick to Tampa and received three draft picks in return: giving them extra 6th, 7th, and 9th round choices. The Flyers first selected veteran international goaltending star Roman Cechmanek and then dealt John Vanbiesbrouck to the New York Islanders, opening a spot for Cechmanek. With their remaining selections, the Flyers took four more forwards and one defenseman.

As always, it is impossible to immediately assess how much or how little the Flyers got out of this draft. Even if several of the forwards they picked end up becoming useful pros, the Flyers still have work to do in catching up to the forward depth pool of other team’s systems.


First Round Selection (#28 overall) Read more»

Washington Capitals 2000 Draft in Review

by Jeff Charlesworth
on

The Washington Capitals surprised no one with the players they selected early on in the 2000 Entry Draft. The top three selections all came from the Western Hockey League, where the Caps have gone for several high picks before. The unexpected moves came when the Capitals made four trades involving nine draft picks and one player – 1995 first-rounder Miika Elomo. Elomo had survived Friday’s expansion draft and was expected to make the jump to the NHL next season.

In the first round (26th overall), they chose Brian Sutherby from Moose Jaw. He is a two-way center, and is very physical. The Caps needed more offensive forwards, but could not pass on Sutherby. He suffered a shoulder injury in November and missed some time. He plays a similar style to current Capital Jeff Halpern, but is a bit bigger.

With the first of their two second-round picks (43rd overall), the Capitals grabbed Matt Pettinger. He is a big winger who has some offensive ability. He left college mid-season to enter the WHL and scored seven goals in his first 12 games. He is the fourth member of the 1999-2000 Calgary Hitmen on the Capitals’ reserve list – joining Kris Beech, Rastislav Stana and
Stephen Peat.

The other second-round pick (61st overall) was used to select big defenseman Jakub Cutta from Swift Current. He is an stay-at-home defenseman but likes to carry the puck. He is originally from the Czech Republic, but has adjusted to the North American game very quickly.

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Canadiens 2000 Draft Review

by pbadmin
on

Canadiens Stay Close To Home on Draft Day

In a draft which was dominated by players overseas, the Canadiens opted to stay close to home with their draft selections. Despite adding several full-time European scouts, specifically Dave King, the Habs focused on American-born players in the College and high school ranks for a second year in a row after neglecting the NCAA route for years. To continue the trend started in ’99, Montreal primarily drafted blueliners, particularly when they drafted south of the border; all five college and high school players drafted over the last two years are defensemen.

This trend surprisingly started quickly in this year’s draft. With Montreal’s first pick, they selected Ron Hainsey: a College player with offensive tools. The swift skating defenseman out of Hockey East plays with poise, intelligence and has terrific vision to make crisp outlet passes out of his own zone; something the Canadiens desperately need. However, he was pegged as a late first round draft pick, and perhaps even an early second rounder. Is this yet another foolish move by the Canadiens’ management?
Not quite.

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Islanders Post Draft Review

by pbadmin
on
Mike Milbury was right on the mark in at least one remark following a daring series of events, his reputation is definitely on the line. Knowledgeable Islander fans collectively swallowed their tongues in shock or at least banged their heads on the nearest solid object after hearing of Milbury’s high stake trades. What at the end of last season was the most promising young goaltending tandem in league was decimated. Weekes was moved to Tampa Bay along with last year’s first round pick Kristian Kudroc to obtain the 5th overall pick. Not a bad maneuver considering that franchise caliber goaltender Roberto Luongo seemed ready to shoulder the load. However, that scenario was quickly shattered when Milbury’s next maneuver was announced. Roberto Luongo, the best prospect in hockey, and Olli Jokinen, the 3rd overall pick in ’97, were sent packing to the Panther for forwards Oleg Kvasha and Mark Parrish.
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