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.

 

NTDP Ramblings

by Erik Freeman
on
After Jeff Jackson was fired, Mike Eaves was the prime candidate to take his job and he is now the USA NTDP’s Under 18 Coach. Eaves approach to his new job is this, my assistants and I will set goals, work towards the goals, and make sure we are having fun. Mike’s son Patrick, who is one of the top 84’s in the country is following his dad out there and will be playing for the Under 17 team. Some of the players Eaves has high expectations of include Eric Nystrom, Dwight Helminen, Justin Maiser, Brian McConnell, Barry Tallackson, and newcomers Jesse Lane and Ryan Whitney. “I haven’t seen much of the team yet, only on a few tapes and from talking to scouts,” Eaves said. Expect the Under 18 team to have a strong year in the USHL and turn some heads during international competition.

Also of note Keith Allain has been rumored to be the new USA National Junior Coach but no official announcement has come from USA Hockey. USA Hockey must come up with a coach soon because of the National Junior Camp set for August as they need to invite the top players to Lake Placid for the camp.

Senators Early Round Picks

by Nathan Estabrooks
on
After trade speculation all week long the Ottawa Senators took a conservative stance and decided to wait for their first round pick; 21st overall. Anton Volchenkov, the 6′ 210lbs defenseman from the Central Red Army farm is an imposing physical specimen and was ranked as the second best defenseman available in Europe by CSB and was 6th our own hockeysfuture.com list. There are major weaknesses on the Senators blueline that Volchenkov will help to alleviate a year or two from now. At first 6′ appears too small for a NHL defenseman but rest assured that Volchenkov makes up for this with a thick 210 frame; think Kasparaitis of Pittsburgh. A note of interest is that hockey runs in Anton’s blood, as his father was a regular with Red Army in the seventies. Senators GM Marshal Johnstone said he was very pleased Volchenkov was still available so late in the first round, and so it appears the Senators’ draft luck continues.
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Hawks 2001 Draft analysis

by Bill Placzek
on

This was Mike Smith’s maiden voyage as General Manager, though he has worked for months prior for the Blackhawks organization in the capacity as advisor in the draft.
Assessing prior draft results showed there was much needed, and Smith started by holding on to his two first rounders and then moving down in the second to add additional picks as the draft went on.

Chicago’s 1st round pick, 10th overall, was center and power forward Mikhail Yakubov, 6’3″ 185-pounder from Barnaul, Russia. He is a creative playmaker who works every shift and whose size/skill ratio projects to any forward position. This big hard driving horse plays a power game and will take the hit to make the play. He has jump in his stride along with puck skills, and nose for the net. He is a good faceoff man with a strong work ethic, always defensively responsible and doing the little things that make good three zone players.

Going into the 2000 entry draft, the Hawks felt he was one of the players that would most likely be taken before pick #10. There were a couple questionable reaches made by teams ahead of the Hawks, so when he was still available, they could not afford to pass him up. Their original plan was to make Pavel Vorobiev their “safe” pick and try and trade the other #11 overall pick for more higher picks. They never even interviewed Yabukov. The unlikely happened, and when he dropped into the Hawk lap, General Manager Mike Smith called timeout and said he was going use both picks for Russian team forwards, no less.
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Life after Hedberg and Smith, The Toronto Maple Leafs 2000 Draft Preview

by Stephen J. Holodinsky
on

There will be more than a little bit of nail-biting going on in Toronto this weekend as the Leafs attend the Entry Draft for the first time since super scout Anders Hedberg and Mike Smith, no small fry in the field either, left the Buds organization. This is a club that has been cursed for nearly 25 years by having Harold Ballard associated with the franchise and suffered at the draft table because of it.
Remember when the Leafs had 3 first round picks in 1989? Instead of actually spending some money on hiring good scouts, Gord Stellick was left to run this Mom ‘n’ Pop operation relatively alone when compared to other clubs. In the end the Leafs ended up taking Scott Thornton (after a decade of limbo has finally developed into a 3rd line checking winger) 3rd overall, Rob Pearson (out of hockey for years now) with the 12th pick and Steve Bancroft (career minor league defenseman) in the 21st slot overall, all from the Belleville Bulls. This in a draft class that included Bill Guerin (#5 to New Jersey), Olaf Kolzig (#19 to Washington) and Adam Foote (#22 to Quebec).
Or how about Benning, Boimstruck, and Gill starting on the Leaf blueline in the same season as rookie 18 year olds so King Harold would have a box office draw that year? That was the beginning of the end of the first two and the last only stuck it out because of expansion. It’s highly doubtful that Todd Gill would still be in the NHL today if there were only 21 teams, like there were 10 years ago. The draft and development fiascos go on and on. Read more»

Flyers Entry Draft Preview

by Bill Meltzer
on
As the 2000 entry draft approaches, the Flyers are stocked at the goaltending position. 1995 first round selection Brian Boucher is coming off a stellar rookie season and waiting in the wings are highly touted 1999 first rounder Maxime Ouellet and SM-Liiga rookie of the year Antero Niittymäki. The Flyers depth in goal allowed the organization to trade yet another well-regarded prospect, Jean-Marc Pelletier, to Carolina as part of the Keith Primeau deal.

Moving out from the goal line to the blueline, even with Andy Delmore and Mark Eaton likely to stick for a full season with the Flyers in 2000-2001, there remains a decent pool of young defensemen in the farm system, although there are no likely #1 or #2 defensemen to be found. It is possible that the Flyers will use the 28th overall selection to take a defenseman. The Flyers like their defensemen big. The franchise has little or no interest in small defensemen, at least at the NHL level; the smaller blueliners the team has drafted or signed as rookie free agents tend to either be traded before turning pro (Mike Crowley, Ray Giroux) or converted to wingers (Dan Peters). However, there has been increased emphasis on finding mobile defensemen for the organization. Because most of the defenders who have been drafted by the Flyers in recent years tend to be big punishing types (Jason Beckett, Jeff Feniak, etc), the organization has signed undrafted rookies such as Delmore and Eaton to provide some speed on the blueline.
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