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.

 

AJHL Division Finals (March 21st)

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Lloydminster 5 at St. Albert 3
The Lloydminster Blazers put a stranglehold on the series as they won for the second straight night in St. Albert.
The game began the same way as Game One as Joey Bastien of the Saints deposited the puck in the open net after a wild scramble in front. His goal was assisted by Ron Grimard. Six minutes later, with 4:28 left Jamie Weiss tied the game up for the Blazers and shifted the game’s momentum. Shots after one period were Saints 15, Blazers 13.

On to the second period, the Blazers took command of the game. It was Weiss again, with his second of the game, scoring six minutes in and last game’s hero Paul Esdale made it 3-1 Blazers on a goal assisted by Mark Hallam. Despite the fact that the Blazers scored two goals that period, it was largely dominated by St. Albert. The Saints outshot Lloydminster 14-9.

In the third, the Saints came out flying and Darren Peebles’ hard work eventually resulted in a goal. With the gap now down to one, the Saints were pressing but could not get a goal past Ray Fraser who was both good and lucky on this night. With 2:00 remaining and the Saints on the powerplay, a brutal giveaway in the neutral zone eventually resulted in Mark Hallam heading on a breakaway. He scored to make it 4-2 Blazers. With just under 50 seconds left, the Saints brought the deficit to one again as Ron Grimard scored, but it was not meant to be. Jamie Weiss sealed it for Lloyd as he got the hat-trick into the empty net in the dying seconds.

Calgary Canucks 3 at Olds 4 Read more»

Star’s Emerging Prospects

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After the Star’s top 10 ( theme of my previous article ) one can still find some quality prospects that have legitimate NHL potential. In my opinion, this is what makes the Dallas system an upper echelon prospect pool. Below are some of my thoughts on these emerging players, which also includes their current statistics.

Please email me with your thoughts & comments ( My next article will be on the “Star’s Long-shot Prospects”)

Tyler Bouck – RW 6-0 185lbs

Tyler’s game is based primarily around his most obvious strength, and that is speed. Able to skate as fast as almost anyone, this kid’s wheels make him very dangerous. On the other hand, he hasn’t found a consistent scoring knack yet, although his skills are well rounded enough. In order to compensate for this he has developed a good defensive game, and has added a physical, “in-your-face” style as well. With his two-way play, battle level, skating, and solid skills, Tyler projects to a 2nd or 3rd line checking winger that can score some goals. His goal scoring upside could be higher, but somewhere around 15-20 goals seems logical at this point. Often compared to Darren McCarty for his physical style, the Stars could definitely use the speed and grit Tyler would provide.
Prince George (WHL) GP-56 G-22 A-25 PTS-47 PIM-178 +/- 8
WJC (CAN) GP-7 G-1 A-0 PTS-1 PIM-2 +/- 3

Marcus Kristofferson – RW 6-3 200lbs
Read more»

AJHL Division Finals (March 20th)

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Lloydminster 4 at St. Albert 3 (2OT)
The one that got away. That’s how the St. Albert Saints will view this game when they look back. Now, instead of being in a comfortable position before Game Two the Saints are down a game and in a must-win situation.
The game was a tough battle all night – on the ice and in the stands. A loud Lloydminster contingent cheered wildly for their club and often drowned out “Go Saints Go” chants with “Go Blazers Go.” They also sarcastically chanted Saints forward Jeebo Manah’s name all night and whenever their team scored they erupted into Garry Glitter’s “Rock ‘n Roll Part II”

The game was fairly even early on before St. Albert’s leading scorer in the regular season, Ron Grimard netted his second of the playoffs. It was a hard shot from the left faceoff circle that barely trickled through goaltender Ray Fraser’s pads and past the goal line. A couple of minutes later, Pavel Beranek scored a powerplay marker but it was decided a player was in the crease and the goal did not stand. Lloydminster then began to take over the game this period as first Paul Esdale scored a powerplay goal from the point as it deflected off of several bodies before finding the mesh behind Scott Kabotoff. Several minutes later Kyle Werner scored as he put home a rebound on a two-on-one.
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Thunder Bay Flyers Make Playoffs

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The Thunder Bay Flyers have made the United States Hockey League playoffs for the first time in four years. The Flyers qualified with a 5-2 win over the West Division leading Omaha Lancers. Thunder Bay jumped out to a 3-0 second period lead on goals by Chris Shaffer, Derrick McIver and Jeff Miles. But the Lancers stormed back with two of their own by Jason Jaworski and Jed Ortmeyer.

The Flyers increased the lead back to two goals as Aaron MacKenzie tipped in Mike Tilson’s point shot in the third period. Derrick McIver scored his second of the night on the empty net to send Thunder Bay back to the playoffs. The Flyers once again received strong goaltending from Cory MaEachran who made 43 saves in the win.

The Flyers sit in sixth place but could drop to seventh on the out come of Sunday nights games. The Flyers will either play the Lancers or the Green Bay Gamblers in the USHL Quarter-Finals. The post season will start early next week. Stay tuned to Hockey’s Future for Flyers Updates.

Montreal Canadiens Top junior Prospects Update

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POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Mike Ribeiro C 5-10 167 20 D-Mtl98 (2/45)

GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 69 67 100 167 +52 137 24 8
(QMJHL)

#1 Strength- Vision and creativity.
#1 Weakness- Size.
Playing with Rouyn-Noranda, the QMJHL’s top offensive team, Ribeiro was on fire the entire season. He averaged 2.42 points per game and won the CHL scoring race by an astonishing 32 points. His +52 was a product of his great offensive skills, while his 8 short handed goals testified to his intelligence and ability to create offense in almost any situation. Which is why he was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the week 3 times. His penalty minutes have more than doubled compared to last year, an indication that he drew much more attention from his opponents, but did not back down.

Ribeiro finished the season with his 100th assist in a 6-2 win over Val D’or.(end of regular season)

Projection at NHL level- Second line center.
Current Stock Status- On the rise.

POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Eric Chouinard C 6-4 192 18 D-Mtl98 (1/16)

GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SH
98-99 Stats 62 50 59 109 +36 56 15 7
(QMJHL)

#1 Strength- Natural scorer.
#1 Weakness- Doesn’t use size. Read more»