Michael Neal


Whitby Ontario

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









5th round (149th overall), 2007


187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B


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.



Appears to be a fringe AHL player at this point and may spend another year in the ECHL while competing for AHL call-ups.


Rangers Make Some More Moves

by Brandon LeBourveau

Vitali Yeremeyev’s recent play for the Rangers is living proof that success in the AHL does not always translate into success in the NHL. Yeremeyev, who shot up the depth chart this season after playing great down in Hartford, has been roughed up pretty bad so far in his stint in the NHL.

Yeremeyev is 0-4-0 in 4 games in the NHL this season, allowing 16 goals on 120 shots. He has a 4.53 GAA and an .846 Save percentage during those games. Although he has looked very good in practice, he hasn’t played the same during the games. He’ll be excellent for 10 minutes, than he’ll give up 3 goals in 2 minutes, which was basically what we saw Monday night in a 5-2 loss against the New York Islanders. Yeremeyev made some great saves in the first half of the 1st period, but then everything went downhill from there, as the Islanders goals just starting to keep piling up.

One thing I have noticed about Yeremeyev that needs improvement is the fact that he comes out too far on breakaways. He has let up 3 breakaway goals, and all because he was way too far out, allowing the player to just go around him and tuck the puck into the open side of the net. Martin Straka scored against him this way in Pittsburgh, and so did Jason Blake and Kenny Jonsson on Monday at the Garden. I’m surprised though that the Rangers have given up a couple of breakaways with the rookie in net, as you would think the Rangers would tighten up defensively do help their young goalie out. But, that hasn’t been the case and one can only wonder why.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that Yeremeyev will be r Read more»

BCHL’s three solid defensemen

by Glenn Fugate

Dale Lupul is a 20-year-old defenseman with the Burnaby Bulldogs. Lupul seems to more of a stay at home d-man but has enough skill to get power play time.At 6’2 205 Lupul can keep the traffic from in front of the net. Defensemen like this are a coach’s dream, you can put them out there when you need solid play in your own end or if you need some offense. Lupul is not much fun to mess with looking at the PIMS. In 56 games this year Lupul has tallied 149 of them. On the offensive side throw in 64 points and you have a pretty good all round d-man. Lupul has a presence on the ice, a solid junior defenseman.

Brad Farynuk is a 18-year-old defenseman with the Vernon Vipers. A good open ice hitter,forewards have to watch when he is on the ice. Farynuk moves the puck well and can play all special teams. A rookie in the BCHL, he has already obtained a scholarship. Farynuk will attend R.P.I next season and should make an impact right away. This native of Enderby B.C. has decent size at 6’1 195 and racks up close to a point a game. He probably plays as much for Vernon as fellow d-man Reilly Olson who will be attending the U. of Michigan. Farynuk is a solid skater and should have a good future at R.P.I.

Duncan Keith is a 17-year-old defenseman with the Penticton Panthers. You only have to watch this player skate once to see why college scouts were all over him. Keith floats on the blades and can take the rough going despite his smallish stature(5’11 160). He takes big hits and he doesn’t flinch — when he’s hit, Keith is a to Read more»

Rangers Acquire Peter Smrek

by Brandon LeBourveau

From the 1st day of this season, fans of the Rangers pleaded for General Manager Glen Sather to deal the high-priced veterans on the club who no longer could help them out in return for some young players and draft picks to quicken a hopefull rebuilding process that most fans would like to see take place.

It took until March 1st for the Rangers to finally make a deal that could actually help them out in the future, by dealing soon-to-be UFA Eric Lacroix to the Ottawa Senators in return for 25 year old, 6’4 215 pound Colin Forbes. Although Forbes is not known for his offensive abilities, he’s a nice sparkplug for the 4th line who mucks it out in the corners and plays a physical game. Forbes has looked pretty good in his 2 games so far as a Ranger, and I am already liking him better than Eric Lacroix.

But the better deal came today, March 5th, as the Rangers traded 36 year old defenseman Alexei Gusarov to the St. Louis Blues for 22 year old Slovak defenseman Peter Smrek. I love this deal for the Rangers. Smrek is a solid two-way defenseman who has the potential to put up 10 goals and 20 assists in the NHL. He has spent the majority of this season with the Worcester Ice Cats of the AHL, posting 2 goals and 6 assists in 47 games this season, to go along with 69 penalty minutes. In 6 games with the St. Louis Blues, he has registered 2 goals and 2 penalty minutes. To put things in a different perspective, the Rangers acquired Alexei Gusarov from the Colorado Avalanche in December for a 5th round pick. So in reality, we give up a 5th round pick for Peter Smrek. I woul Read more»

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