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.

 

HF’s interview with Oliver Jonas

by Oliver Janz
on





Mit welchem Mitspieler des Eishockeyteams der Harvard University hast Du Dich am besten verstanden

One of the candidates for the goalie position at the Olympic games in Germany’s national team, Oliver Jonas, the ECAC Goalie of the Year 2001, taking the time to answer questions from Hockey’s Future. Germany’s HF Editor OJ (Oliver Janz) talked with Goalie OJ (Oliver Jonas) about his first steps, the time in north america, the olympic games 2002 and many many more. To learn to know more about Jonas

click here for his profile, to read more about his chances to be named to the Olympic roster click here.


Picture: Oliver Jonas, the number one with the #1 on his Harvard jersey.

HF: Hello Oliver Jonas, how do you feel and what are you doing in Germany right now?

OJ: Thanks, i’m feeling excell Read more»

2001-02 Season Previews: From Smith to Bell.

by Kirk Pedersen
on

Hello, and welcome to my third installment in a four-part series of season previews for the Vancouver Canucks and their youngsters. This week I will take a look at the possibilities this season for: 2000 First-rounder Nathan Smith, 1996 First-rounder Josh Holden, 1996 Third-rounder Zenith Komarniski, and 2000 Third-rounder Thatcher Bell.

I’m not completely finished updating all of the site’s profiles, so please bear with me while I do so, as my previous ones are very poor in quality, and will be fixed in the very near future. (I just thought I’d add that in, for those of you who are growing frustrated with my profiles of players.)

I’m ready to start exploring, join me, won’t you?

The first player I will be talking about this week is a former Sherwood Park (Alberta) Midget player by the name of Nathan Smith. Nathan Smith was the Canucks first selection in the 2000 Draft. (23rd Overall) The pick was obtained from the Florida Panthers in the now-infamous Pavel Bure deal/fiasco of 1998-99. He put up some good numbers for Swift Current last season, scoring 90 points, (28g, 62a) in 67 games. However, he is not thought to be much of a scorer at the NHL-level.

A former first-round draft pick in junior by the Swift Current Broncos, when he was first drafted, I’ll admit that I had little knowledge of the Strathcona, Alberta native. I had known that he wasn’t too much of a scorer, and that he’d throw his hat in to the now-impressive group of young centres we had, which included the likes of Artem Chubarov, Mike Brown, and Josh Holden, not to mention Henri Read more»

Tarasov a hybrid goalie

by Chris Boucher
on
Nine days of intense workouts are beginning to pay off for the players here at the Canadiens’ prospect development camp. Drills are being run with much more precision. Passes are moving from tape to tape, scorers are starting to score, and playmakers are making the plays that are only made after successive intense on-ice workouts.

Tarasov / Belanger

Vadim Tarasov (7th round, 1999) is working hard to stop every shot he faces. He’s eager to impress, and his work ethic has been second to none. He and Luc Belanger (recently signed by the Citadelles) are far and above the best goalies in camp. While both have been effective, their styles of play represent what some people consider competing styles.

Tarasov is more of a hybrid goalie. Utilizing whatever style he deems necessary depending on the situation. He’s a reaction goalie; relying on reflexes to stop to the puck, and solid skating to remain square to the shooter. This style of play often contributes to inconsistency. It forces the goalie to rely too often on his reflexes. This puts pressure on the goalie’s ability to remain focused. Any drop in focus usually results in bad goals. Tarasov’s style of play is the likely reason for his past inconsistencies. He has a reputation of being a goalie who plays great when he’s on, but plays terrible when he’s not. In fact, there was a period last season when his somewhat erratic play was enough for him to fall out of favour with his coach. Between October 26th and November 11th Tarasov played in only two of his team’s nine games. His save percent Read more»

Three up, three down for Canadian U-18 team

by Jeff Arnim
on

Team Canada exploded for five goals, including three in the first period, in their 5-1 victory over the Swedish contingent at the 2001 Six Nations Tournament in the Czech Republic on Thursday. With the win, Canada moves to a perfect 3-0 in the event.

Rick Nash (London, OHL) opened the scoring just 35 seconds into period one, and added an assist on the next goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Chicoutimi, QMJHL); Bouchard posted his second tally of the frame in its final two minutes. Maxime Talbot (Hull, QMJHL) posted a power play goal half way through the second period, and Tim Brent (Toronto, OHL) closed out the scoring early in the third.

Nash, Bouchard, Talbot and Brent all tallied two points on the day.

Maxime Daigneault was once again strong in net, stopping 24 of 25 Sweden shots on goal. His gawdy numbers for the tournament include a perfect 3-0-0 record, a 0.67 goals-against average, and a .973 save percetnage. Daigneault has stopped 72 of 74 shots faced.

From the Western Hockey League side of things, defensemen Andy Thompson and Ian White each added an assist in the game.

Read more»

1997 Draft: 4 Years Later

by Brandon LeBourveau
on

Four years after the 1997 NHL Entry Draft, we are able to look at the players who were drafted and determine how good they will be in the NHL. If teams only knew what they know now back in 1997, then the order of selection would have been much different.

Below is an in-depth look of the players selected in the 1st Round four years ago. Included are the team that made the selection, the player drafted, the team he was drafted from, and his career stats thus far in the NHL.


1. Boston – Joe Thornton, C, Sault-Ste.-Marie Greyhounds (OHL)
289 GP, 79 G, 100 A, 179 P, 277 PIM

The Bruins struck gold by selecting Thornton with the 1st overall pick. He has played in each of the last four seasons for Boston since being drafted, and he hasn’t disappointed them thus far. With 79 goals, 100 assists, 179 points and 277 penalty minutes in 289 career games, the emergence of Thornton as a future superstar and a 1st line center has allowed the Bruins to discuss the possibility of dealing away current all-star center Jason Allison, who is currently in a contract dispute with the Bruins. It is clear that Thornton is the future for Boston, and they will look for him to improve on his breakout season this past year in which he had 37 goals, 34 assists, 71 points and 107 penalty minutes in 72 games. Thornton was definitely worth taking with the 1st overall selection.


2. San Jose – Patrick Marleau, C, Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) Read more»

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