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.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
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.

 

Calder Corner for October 20th

by HF Staff
on


The Calder Corner

CAL

Jukka Hentunen: Assist, +1, 2 Shots


COL
Vaclav Nedorost: Goal (2nd), +1, 1 Shot


Dallas Stars
Niko Kapanen: Assist, 2 Shots, Even


Edmonton Oilers
Ty Conklin: 23 Saves, 2 GA, 1st NHL Win


Nashville Predators
Martin Erat: Assist, 1 Shot, Even


New York Islanders
Radek Martinek: Assist, 3 Shots, Even


New York Rangers
Dan Blackburn: Played the 3rd Period, 6 Saves, 0 GA


Phoenix Coyotes
Krys Kolanos: Goal (2nd), +3, 3 Shots


San Jose Sharks
Mikko Kiprusoff: 38 Saves, 2 GA, Win

Read more»

Flyers Collegiate Prospects Stepping into Limelight

by Bill Meltzer
on

Through the years, the Philadelphia Flyers have had a few homegrown players– including current Flyer Chris Therien and one-time rookie free agent Dave Poulin– who were U.S. college standouts before turning professional. However, the vast majority of Flyer-drafted and signed players originally honed their skills in the Canadian major junior ranks.

Times have changed. Today, the Flyers have only one affiliated prospect (2001 first round draft pick Jeff Woywitka) playing in the CHL, while five youngsters are playing for teams in the NCAA.

The Flyers current crop of collegiate players represents an intriguing collection of sleeper prospects. An update on their current progress.

Colin Shields : Shields had to sit out last season after he was declared ineligible by the NCAA. In order to retain his visa status, the Scottish forward signed up for classes that he never attended. When the University of Maine learned what had happened, they had no choice but to report the violation to the NCAA.

So far this season, Shields has been making up for lost time. He’s displayed the soft hands and offensive instincts that made him a standout at every level of hockey that he has played. He’s also a pretty good skater.

Shields has exploded out of the gates for Maine with 5 goals in his first 4 games, including 3 powerplay tallies. He has no reticence about shooting the puck; as his 13 shots on goal attest.

Bernd Bruckler : The Austrian goaltender was a highly sought recruit by many U.S. college programs. He finally opted for the Read more»

67’s Sting Sarnia

by Jake Dole
on

Ottawa (5-2-2) vs Sarnia (6-6-1)

The Ottawa 67’s, fresh off a 4-4 tie with the Kingston Frontenacs, faced off against the Sarnia Sting on Friday, October the 19th. The 67’s welcomed back captain Zenon Konopka, coming off a 2-game suspension, for being the instigator in a scuffle in the October 7th match against the Barrie Colts. Read more»

Calder Corner for October 19th

by HF Staff
on


The Calder Corner

ATL

Ilya Kovalchuk: 3rd NHL Goal, +1, 4 Shots
Brian Pothier: Assist, +1, 3 Shots
Daniel Tjarnqvist: Assist, -1, 1 Shot
Dany Heatley: 1st NHL Goal, +1, 4 Shots


CMB
Rostislav Klesla: Assist, +1


New York Rangers
Peter Smrek: Assist, +2, 1 Shot
Dan Blackburn: 32 Saves, 3 GA, 2nd NHL Win

As a general rule, I will always list goals and assists and other noteworthy stats.

Giant Growing Pains

by Dave Donnelly
on


Giant Growing Pains

Like most newborns, the Vancouver Giants are also susceptible to growing pains. These pains were most evident over the last three-game homestand, winding up Saturday, October 13th, in what will become a divisional rivalry with the Portland Winter Hawks. The Giants, hoping to push their record over the .500 mark and perhaps thinking they could take advantage of the Winter Hawks who have been struggling on the road, never did seem to get organized. From obvious communication problems on the bench, to teammates running into each other on the ice, the Giants never came close to finding the disciplined, hard-working and physical groove they displayed just one night earlier in the first period against the offensive Lethbridge Hurricanes.

Being a young team, this erratic display of hockey is not unusual. Coach Dragicevic was saying all the right things to the players between periods and after the game, emphasizing the need to play a rugged, grinding style of hockey, and to shy not from the body. Yet it seemed to land on deaf ears against the Winter Hawks. There really is no explanation for it other than the proverbial ‘growing pains’ of a young team coming together.

Players at both ends of the ice were turning away from what appeared to be sure checks, and the defence were often beat on the outside along the half-boards due to ill-timed turns to play the man. In short, they were getting caught flat-footed. They looked surprisingly tired — something a fan would not expect this early in the sea Read more»

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