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.

 

Kings Goalie Prospect Matthew Yeats Interview

by Tony Calfo
on

Maine goalie Matthew Yeats answered some questions for Kings’ Editor Tony Calfo-

HF- When do you hope or plan to break into the NHL?

MY- I don’t plan on making an arrival into the NHL for a couple of years. I have one year left of college eligibility which I plan on using this coming year and will graduate in May. From there it is up in the air. I would guess that I would play a couple of years with the farm team and work my way up from there.

HF- What do you think of the Kings’ organization?

MY- I think the Kings organization is great. The three previous summers I have attended the rookie camp that they host, two were in Thunder Bay and last year in Los Angeles. Everything was done with class and everyone makes sure that you are happy and doing your best all the time. The Kings would be a great team to play for.

HF- Do you follow the Kings or their system?

MY- I don’t keep too close to what is going on in the Kings system, but I do like to see what they are doing and how their goaltending situation is from time to time. If I see a paper lying around or if someone is reading the hockey news, I will go right to the kings section to see what is new.

HF- Do the Kings keep in touch with you?

MY- The Kings don’t really keep in touch. I usually talk to one of the scouts once or twice a year, checking in to see how I am doing and to tell me what they thought of when they saw me play. Most of the time it is positive.

HF- How do you compare with Alexey Volkov?

MY- It is tough for me to say how I compare Read more»

Jagr traded for prospects

by Richard A. Plisco
on
The Pittsburgh Penguins shocked the media and fans, dealing scoring champ Jagr to frequent playoff matchup Washington Capitals. Many critics speculated that Jagr was headed for New York or Los Angeles this week. Pens GM Craig Patrick surprised all by moving Jagr to the Caps for three prospects and future considerations.

Frantisek Kucera was also included in the package as obvious salary relief. The little used defenseman was a late pickup last season and hardly saw the ice.

The Pens get in exchange three top 35 1999 draft picks from Washington :

1. Kris Beech 20 6’3″ 200lbs. C Calgary Hitmen (WHL) – Scoring centerman.

2. Ross Lupaschuk 20 6’1″ 215lbs. D Red Deer Rebels (WHL) – Physical blueliner.

3. Michal Sivek 20 6’3″ 209lbs. C Sparta Praha (Czech Rep.) – Two-way center.

Future Considerations are expected to include cash.

Young Blueliners May Be a Strength of Flyers System

by Mike Castor
on

Overall view of the Philadelphia Flyers defensive prospects

Although critics may say otherwise, the blueline is now one of the Flyers organizational strengths. The difference was the 2001 draft. I think the current draft yielded at least 3 rearguards that may make the NHL with in 4 years. Before the draft, I thought the Flyers had average defensive talent, but now they have seem to have above-average talent system-wide.

In the system, Philadelphia has plenty of big defensive blue liners. At the draft, they added more rearguards that can skate and handle the puck. Bruno St. Jacques will be probably the first one of the prospects to make the Flyers. A lot of that, however, depends on what the Flyers get in return for Eric Lindros. Flyer fans can rest assured that defense will soon not be a problem any longer. While most of the regulars on the Flyers blueline are getting up there in age, the kids in the system should be ready to step up and play well by the time the current veterans are gone.
Read more»

Tampa Bay Lightning Update

by Megan Sexton
on

Tough-Guy &
All-Star Traded in for Experienced Face-Off Man

Rookies
Kyle Freadrich and Nils Ekman seem to have lost their place in the
organization, as they were traded to the New York Rangers on June 30th
for experienced centerman Tim Taylor. 

Ekman
seemed to be caught in a numbers game, but appeared to have proved his worth in
his 43 games with the Lightning throughout the 2000-01 season.  A two-time IHL All-Star, Ekman tallied 9
goals and 11 assist while with Tampa and another 22 goals and 14 assists in 33
games with the Detroit Vipers (IHL).

Freadrich
only appeared in 13 games with the big club and suffered through an
injury-plagued season while in Detroit. 
His notorious battle with Chicago heavyweight Ryan VandenBussche game
him a name late in the 1999-00 season, but he failed to keep the intimidation
factor going.  He squared off when given
the opportunity, but never put on much of a show.  With the acquisition of Matthew Barnaby and Gordie Dwyer still in
the ranks, Freadrich was quickly ousted from the tough-guy r Read more»

Evseev heads list of Russian 2002 draft eligible prospects.

by Jake Dole
on
As the final picks were decided for the 2001 draft, it was evident that the event embodied an outstanding depth of skilled prospects, arguably the best since the 1991 draft. Russian prospects lead the way with Ilya Kovalchuk going 1st overall, followed by Alexander Svitov at # 3 and Stanislav Chistov at #5. Kovalchuk became the first Russian prospect ever to go first overall, as he had become the clear-cut #1 choice in the minds of General Managers and the media.
A large variety of Russian youngsters were drafted. In fact, Russia represented the highest percentage of European prospects as expected. However, not since the early nineties was it that Russia showcased not only such skill but undeniably a large amount of youth. The country has visibly recovered from the recession of prospect depth through the mid-nineties.
In 2002, Russia will be represented with a new row of eligible players. Although the choice is not as deep as in 2001, the talent level is visible, no doubt about it. As expected, the variety is based on skill, speed and skating, the factors which ideally epitomized Russian hockey for decades. However, as of now there is a touch of grit, size and intensity, the words which before were not associated with the Russian style of the game. With prospects such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexander Svitov, Pavel Vorobiev and Alexei Semenov, it is becoming clear that over the years the North American influence has largely impacted the game of hockey not only in Russia, but in Europe as a whole. The 2002 class is represented by several bigg Read more»

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