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.

 

Philadelphia Phantoms Off to a Rollicking Start

by Bill Meltzer
on

While the Philadelphia Flyers have stumbled a bit out of the gates with just one win (and two come-from-behind ties against Columbus) to show for their first four games, the Flyers top farm club is off to a sensational start. The Phantoms are 4-0-0 and have outscored their opponents by a combined 18 to 7. The Phantoms have begun their first road trip of the season with a 3-2 win in Rochester and a 4-1 victory in Bridgeport.

Even with the callup of top line center Marty Murray to the big club, the Phantoms have not missed a beat since the club departed Philly for the trip. Veteran Mark Freer has moved up from the third line to the center the first line with AHL Player of the Week Mark Greig and red hot sniper Vaclav Pletka. The revised line has continued to dominate.

So far on the young season, Pletka has 6 goals and 3 helpers, including back-to-back two goal efforts against Wilkes Barre/Scranton and Rochester. The second year winger from the Czech
Republic, who reportedly considered going home to play this season because he didn’t think he was in the mix for a job with the big club, has been making a strong case for himself to get NHL consideration, despite his lack of size. He’s shown plenty of speed and a surprising level of grit to go along with his soft hands and laser quick shot release.

Almost everywhere you look in the Phantoms lineup, there are positives.

Second line left wing/ center Tomas Divisek has points in every game so far and has continued to demonstrate a commitment to playing two-way hockey.

Young defenseman Bruno Read more»

Tomas Netik – ATP Champion race or Hockey World Championships?

by Ivana Paulova
on
Czech hockey is presenting another talent. This time it’s Tomas Netik, the undrafted 19 year old player (1982-04-28) of HC Sparta Praha. Many of you will question Sparta once again? Well the reason why many talented players are- or were in Sparta is that because it’s a very good club and it has great teams in all categories and this provides excellent background to all the players. But that doesn’t mean that all players in Sparta possess rare talent. But bare in mind that Tomas Netik isn’t just an ordinary player.

Among other players he is known for his modesty and ever-present positive attitude. He can be considered as a good leader, always giving support to others and making them welcome in the team regardless of whether it’s in Sparta or the national team. He seems to have things sorted out in his mind yet still he is open to new ideas and advises. The main figure in his career as well as personal life is his father a former player and later coach of Sparta now coaching the A team of Nymburg playing 3rd highest league in Czech Republic.

Tomas’ father led his first hockey steps which paradoxically took place at the other Prague stadium which belongs to Sparta’s rival Salvia! He stayed there till the age of 8 and the reason for the change of teams was caused by the fact that Sparta as a club also had a tennis team. Tomas was playing hockey and tennis for Sparta from the age of 8 till the age of 13. This combination worked well in his younger years when he was playing hockey in winter and tennis in summer. He was playing at a high level in both Read more»

Calder Corner for Oct 10th

by HF Staff
on


The Calder Corner

New York Islanders

Radek Martinek: 1 Assist, +4

New York Rangers
Dan Blackburn: NHL Debut, 42 Shots, 37 Saves, 0-1-0

As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats. If there is more to be noted, HF encourages our readers to talk about them below!

Wolves Defense Drowns Mighty Ducks

by pbadmin
on

Last season, Norm Maracle set an Orlando Solar Bear record by recording . If the Chicago Wolves continue to play the kind of suffocating defense that they displayed in their 3-0 whitewashing of the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, Wednesday night, he could break that record by the half way point of the of the season.

If the fact that the Wolves only allowed 19 shots was not impressive enough, consider that they allowed 19 shots on goal while killing off several penalties. The Wolves short-handed unit not only killed off the infractions, but their aggressive play created scoring chances as well. Led by penalty killer specialist, (Wolves forward) Dan Plante, the Wolves defense gave the Ducks no room to operate as they harassed the puck carrier at every opportunity. If this group continues
to play as dominant as this, we’re going to need to find them a nickname.

With things well taken care of on the defensive end, the Wolves defense decided to help out on offense. With 4:24 gone in the first period, Rob Brown slid a beautiful pass, through the slot, finding Dallas Eakins for the one timer to put the Wolves ahead 1-0. Later in the period, Derek MacKenzie scored his first ever professional goal off of rebound shots by Brett Clark and Dan Plante. MacKenzie ended the scoring an empty netter at 19:54 of the third period with an assist from Jef Dessner.

The Wolves were awarded a rare penalty shot in the second period when Ben Simon was pulled down, from behind. Taking the Wolves first non-shootout since April on 1999, Simon skated in on the right side, and tried Read more»

Blue Jackets Nielsen Out 4-6 Weeks

by Bill Drake
on

Chris Nielsen injuried his groin in Monday’s game against the Flyers. He blocked a Chris Therien’s slapshot in the second period. Undergoing surgery last night, Nielsen was released this morning.

Until the injury, Nielsen was matched up against the Jeremy Roenick line. Only in a defensive faceoff did Tyler Wright replace him against Roenick. Wright lost the faceoff andnow Columbus looses their emerging checking forward for at least a month.

In other news, Rostislav Klesla sees his ice time dimnish. In Columbus’ first game, Klesla managed a tip in goal to tie the game against. But in thier most recent game he logged less than ten minutes of icetime.

Player Movement

Jody Shelley was placed on the Syracuse Crunch roster on loan from the BlueJackets on 10-9-01.

Syracuse Crunch Notable Statistics

Mathieu Darche scored two goals in the team’s opener against Bridgeport.

Related Articles