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.

 

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by Bryan Taylor
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Portland Pirates Preview

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
The Portland Pirates will start their season in about a month’s time with more than half of last year’s roster intact. This will be a very different team however, as they will no longer have superstar goaltender Martin Brochu leading them into battle. Brochu signed with Calgary recently in an attempt to get to the NHL quicker.

The 2000-01 edition of the Pirates will have an overhauled defense corps, and should have a more potent offense. They will be counting on at least four rookies and four veteran additions to get them back to the form that had them first overall for an extended stretch last year.

Trying to predict a lineup before training camp begins is very difficult, as anything can and will happen before opening night. Using the entire organizational roster as a starting point, I have constructed what I think think the Pirates roster will look like.

The top line will consist of centre Jeff Nelson between wingers Mike Peluso and Matt Pettinger. Nelson is an offensive force for the Pirates and is a veteran leader among the forwards. Peluso has proved time and time again that he is top-line material and should once again be among the Pirates’ top scorers. Pettinger is a rookie, and would not normally be considered for the top line. However, the Pirates lost their top three left wingers in the off-season (Elomo, Moore, Toms) and are very thin at that position.
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Another Moose in Europe

by Andrew Bourgeois
on
Lonny Bohonos has become the second Manitoba Moose (Michael Stewart signed with Frankurt Lions of the German League.) to bolt for Europe as he signed with HC Davos of the Swiss League. The Moose were not even given the opportunity to have Bohonos back in a Moose uniform for the 2000-01 IHL season. Last season the Toronto Maple Leafs had agreed to assign Bohonos to the Moose instead of their AHL farm club in St. John’s Newfoundland. This years contrat negotiations had a different twist to it when the Leafs told Bohonos that he would have to report to the baby Leafs so he signed with Davos of the Swiss Elite League for bigger money.

“After last year, when he didn’t get called up, he was left wondering, ‘How long am I going to hang on to this dream?’ “ said Jim Sedgwick, Bohonos’s Winnipeg-based agent.

Sedgwick said since Bohonos didn’t get a sniff from the Leafs last year, Bohonos figured their actions spoke volumes about what they thought of him, although the money was big by minor-league standards.

Bohonos who left for Switzerland in early August where he will earn twice as much as he was earning in North America knows that there is also a downside when playing in Europe. “I know that while in Europe I will be out of sight and out of mind from NHL teams, but its something that I felt was right for me and it was something that I felt I had to do.” said Bohonos.

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Cup Champs Open Camp September 8th

by pbadmin
on
The Stanley Cup Champion New Jersey Devils should open the 2000-01 season without a great number of new players on the roster. However, training camp should still be quite interesting for Devil watchers.

Goaltender Ari Ahonen, New Jersey’s first round pick in the 1999 draft, will be attending his first NHL camp. The 19 year old Finn has played well in his native country but the Devils are anxious to see how this will translate to the North American game.

Ahonen has no chance of being on the opening night roster. New Jersey would love for the young netminder to agree to play this season at Albany of the AHL which would likely accelerate his progress.

Six 2000 draft choices plan on being in training camp, none of whom are even being considered for spots at this time. Still, defensemen Phil Cole and Deryk Engelland along with forwards Michael Rupp, Max Birbraer, Mike Jefferson and Warren McCutcheon hope to make a lasting impression on Coach Larry Robinson.

Of that group expect 6-5, 230 lb. Rupp to get a long look. 5-9, 190 lb. Jefferson will get some attention if only due to the fact that he is likely to start some skirmishes based on his abrasive style.

Training camp opens on September 8th at South Mountain Arena in West Orange, New Jersey. The first exhibition game vs. Pittsburgh is scheduled for September 16th in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania.

Leafs’ Rookie Camp roster set

by Randy Nicholson
on
The Leafs Rookie Camp roster has now been set. The team listed below will participate in two-a-day workouts at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on August 29th and 30th and will then take part in a round robin tournament against the prospects of the Buffalo Sabres, Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers. The tournament will also take place in Kitchener and will run between September 1st and September 4th. Here is Toronto’s final roster.

Goaltenders: Sebastien Centomo, Jamie Hodson, and Jean-Francois Racine

Defensemen: Jean-Philippe Cote, Peter Reynolds, Allan Rourke, Petr Svoboda, Lubos Velebny, Vaclav Zavoral, and Jonathan Zion.

Forwards: Brad Boyes, Luca Cereda, Miguel Delisle, Jonathan Gagnon, Lance Galbraith, Jacques Lariviere, Franticek Mrazek, Mirko Murovic, Ben Ondrus, Alex Ponikarovsky, Vadim Sozinov, Michal Travnicek, Kris Vernarsky, Morgan Warren

The majority of these youngsters are already under contract with the Maple Leafs’ organization or are unsigned selections from the team’s previous drafts. Galbraith and Ondrus are free agents hoping to secure a professional contract just as Centomo and Lariviere did last year with solid play in the Rookie Tournament.
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