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.

 

OHL news and notes

by pbadmin
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What is going on in Kingston? A municipal strike has caused the postponement of 4 games this season. The union allowed the Frontenacs to play four games in the month of October as a concession in contract talks with the union. On Friday night, the fourth of those games, the Memorial Center received a bomb threat during the second intermission of the game that saw the visiting Erie Otters in town. The police cleared out the building and conducted a search for the bomb. The search lasted 45 minutes and then they allowed play to continue and allowed the fans to re-enter the building. The Otters, however, decided not to take the chance and forfeited the game after a discussion with the league office. My only question is why would the visiting team have to forfeit? Returning risked the well being of the players. The league should be looking into the problem with the Frontenacs much more closely.

Surprise, surprise. Who would have thought that after a dozen games and one month into the season that Windsor and Brampton would be leading their respective divisions? Props go out to both teams for providing the OHL with a little bit of added excitement. It just goes to show that junior hockey is “predictably unpredictable.” The Battalion are being lead by the outstanding play of goalie David Chant. He currently leads the league with a miniscule 1.79 goals against average. Windsor is being lead offensively by their three outstanding rookies, Steve Ott(17points), player of the week in week three Shawn Mather(15 points), and Craig Kennedy (11 points).
Read more»

Canadiens’ Junior Prospects Weekly Update

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Stand Outs
-Michael Ryder had a good week with 5 points in 3 games.
-Marc-Andre Thinel had a good week with 4 points in 2 games.
-Eric Chouinard had a decent week with 3 goals in 3 games.

Awards -Michael Ryder was named the QMJHL’s offensive player of the month for September.

Hab You Heard?
-Andrei Markov, the Habs’ sixth round pick during the 98 Entry Draft is leading all Russian League defensemen in points. He has 5 goals and 6 assists in 14 games for Moscow Dynamo.
-Vadim Tarasov, the Habs’ seventh round pick during the 99 Entry Draft is having a strong season with Metalburg (HK) of the Russian League. In 13 games played he is 9-3-1, with a 2.20 goals against average, and a .904 save percentage.

-Evan Lindsay, the Habs’ fourth round pick during the 99 Entry Draft was temporarily promoted to the Habs’ AHL affiliate in Quebec. Lindsay’s call-up was the result of Garon’s call-up, which was due to Hackett’s injury. Lindsay should be returned to Talahasee of the ECHL in the next few days. Lindsay has yet to play a regular season game for any team, in any league this season.

POS HT/WT AGE DRAFTED
Eric Chouinard (c) 6’4″/192 Lbs. 18 D-Mtl98(1/16)

GP G A PTS +- PIM PPG SHG
1999-00 Quebec 13 14 6 20 +3 20 3 1
#1 Strength- Scoring ability
#1 Weakness- Doesn’t use size Read more»

St. John’s Maple Leafs Report

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This is the first of a monthly report on the baby Leafs for Hockey’s Future. The chief focus of this report will be on the top prospects within the Leafs’ system who are currently playing with St. John’s.

To say that the St. John’s Maple Leafs, the AHL affiliate of the Toronto club, is off to a slow start is a bit of an understatement. As Chris Schwartz, St. John’s media director states, “We have lost 4 of our top 5 scorers from last year’s team and it will take a while for some of the current players to pick up the slack.” St. John’s is currently last in the Atlantic Division with 6 pts. with a 2-5-2 record.

Despite the slow start, there have definitely been some bright spots, starting with Ukrainian second year pro, Konstantin Kalmikov. The left-winger scored just 3 goals and 4 assists last season in 52 games and has already surpassed that total with 4 goals and 4 assists in his first 9 games. “It’s a night and day difference with Kalmikov this season. He has always had the skills, now he has the confidence,” states Schwartz. “He has clearly been our best forward,” he adds. Kalmikov has gone from only 2 or 3 shifts per game last season to a regular spot on the top scoring line this year. He has also seen a good amount of powerplay time as well.
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Djurgarden prospects

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Djurgarden is using a new system this season, using only one defenseman and four attackers on
each line. Basically, the defenseman’s (called sweeper) job is too take defensive
responsibility. Instead of using two defenseman, Djurgarden has two centers and two forwards
called torpedos. In each formation there is one offensive center and one defensive center,
however both centers participate a lot in the play when the team has the puck. Both the
torpedos have only offensive tasks and quoting the coach Mats Waltin: “We do not want too see
the torpedos in our own zone”. Djurgarden has a very offensive approach and both torpedos on each formation forecheck extremely hard.

Of course, playing with this system also means defensive problems. Teams who specialize in
counter-attacks have so far had great success against Djurgarden and the team often has to
face 1 on 2 or 1 on 3 situations.

An example of a game where such a scenario happend is the
game between Djurgarden and Leksand on Oct.3. Djurgarden outshot Leksand 21-6 in the two first
periods, but were still down 1-3. The final score was 2-5 inspite of Djurgarden having 32
shots on goal and Leksand only 13. One of the keys to success for Djurgarden is that goalie
Tommy Soderstrom (formerly with the Flyers and Islanders) is at his best and ready to face
many odd-man attacks.

So far after 13 games, the result has been satisfying. Djurgarden has scored a league-leading Read more»

Sluggish Start to Year for Storm

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on

After a slow start, the Guelph Storm are only playing .500 hockey. Something they haven’t done for a while. They have played the fewest games at 6 and have a record of 3-3 (wins and losses). While Chris Madden has 3 wins and Craig Andersson has all three losses. It’s not that Andersson isn’t playing well, it’s just when he plays the defense thinks that they are defending for Madden, which leads to mistakes.

The other night in Owen Sound, Andersson faced 24 shots alone in the first period. And the Platers had only scored 1 goal. Over all in that game Andersson faced 43 shots turning away 40 of them. It was obvious to see that the Storm need a veteran defenseman with leadership qualities.

Ian Forbes, who has been playing great in the last few games has helped the team out incredibly on the power play as well on the penalty killing line. However, Forbes and Kevin Mitchell are the only 19 year-olds on the team that play defense.

Kevin Dallman also spent a lot of time on the penalty killing line, but he also spent quite a few minutes on the power play line.
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