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: Who’s Going to Help First?

by Tony Calfo
on

It’s been made pretty clear that the Kings system is depleted at best. With that in mind, assume the Kings will lose a few players during the off-season to expansion et all, and there seems to be a few open roster spots. The question is who will make a run at these spots? In past seasons, the Kings have signed guys like Len Barrie to fill “fringe” positions on the third or fourth lines. Thirty year old players with some skill are stop-gap solutions at best. So who will help the Kings soonest? Here is a stab:

If the question was who is going to play in the NHL soonest, Pavel Rosa would be the answer. Rosa seems poised to be a top pick in the expansion draft. Rosa has had several opportunities to sparkle and has done nothing with them. Barring involvement in a trade- which seems to be growing more and more unlikely, Rosa will spend next season in Columbus or Minneapolis. Rosa is probably the only sure shot for next year, albeit with another team.

Donald MacLean is in another resurgence. He is starting to play better in Lowell and as I saw him play last week I am reminded that he has one thing that many others do not- tremendous size. A third or fourth line center with size is a premium. MacLean has to either commit himself to one side of the ice or develop a nasty streak because his game has not developed to the point where he can excel offensively as well defensively. I would not be surprised if MacLean makes a move to the big club next year as the fourth line center.
Read more»

Penguins Future – Coming On Strong

by pbadmin
on

Numerous problems have plagued the Pittsburgh Penguins this season. From personal
tragedies, to injuries, to coaching changes and inconsistency on the ice,
it never seemed to stop. Fortunately, despite the chaos, the team as a whole never stopped believing in the impossible. Classed as an ordinary talent, a struggling team whose playoff chances are slipping away, the Pittsburgh Penguins are far from quitting. The truth is they will do whatever it takes to build a winner, and positively reinforce their farm system, even if it takes a year or two longer to be recognized for their efforts. At the moment a trail of disappointment ripples through the system, but there is hope on the horizon. No team is more capable of making a statement than Pittsburgh. When they decide to do something, they usually go all out.
On February 7th, the Pittsburgh Penguins named Ivan Hlinka associate head coach, with the intention of making him successor to Herb Brooks as head coach next season. Ivan, who is a world-class talent behind the bench and led the Czech National team (including Jaromir Jagr) to Olympic gold, will become the first European coach to take the helm of a NHL team. It’s fitting considering the Penguins are credited for being the first NHL team to draft heavily from Europe and build their current roster around such. It will take some getting used to, especially for those players who are not from the Czech Republic, but the common opinion is it’s a huge step in the right direction.
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Washington Capitals Prospect Report

by Jeff Charlesworth
on
Hello and welcome to my latest Capitals Prospect Update. I will give you all the latest news and up-to-date statistics on all of the players on the top 50 list.

The Portland Pirates are still rolling along full steam ahead. Their record stands at 32-14-9 (73 pts.) which puts them first overall in the AHL, four points ahead of Kentucky (San Jose) who have played one more game. Portland will be without Alexei Tezikov for a while as he has been recalled to the NHL. The Pirates currently have five players assigned to Hampton Roads (ECHL): forwards Mike Omicioli and Mike Siklenka, as well as defensemen Gerad Adams, Steve Shirreffs and Dean Stork.

Misc. Notes: The Capitals continued to restructure their minor league system by trading forward Alexandre Volchkov to the Edmonton Oilers for a third or fourth round pick in 2001 (depending on how he performs). The Washington scouting staff feels that the 2001 draft is very deep, and are stockpiling picks. There are only two major injuries in the Capitals’ system at the moment: forward Trevor Halverson has missed the entire season so far with a concussion, while defenseman Nathan Forster has sat out the past few weeks with a thigh contusion.

A++ players – performing above and beyond the call of duty.

5. Jason Shmyr: impressive numbers for this tough guy.

4. Patrick Boileau: +16 rating leads Portland.

3. Alexei Tezikov: earned his way back into the NHL.
Read more»

Updated Flyers Prospect Report

by Bill Meltzer
on

Stepping Up:

* The two best prospects in the Flyers system continue to be goaltenders
Maxime Oullet and Antero Niittymäki. The strong play of both youngsters
pretty much cancels out any loss of organizational goaltending depth
suffered when Jean-Marc Pelletier was traded to Carolina in the Keith
Primeau deal.

Oullet, coming off a spectacular World Junior Championships, continues to
be the best goaltender in the Quebec League. Oullet is now being widely
hyped around the hockey world as a potential franchise goalie. Arguably,
he’s the best goalie in junior hockey today, although the Finley contigent
might dispute that. The buzz around Oullet coming off the WJC is not quite
equal to the hype that surrounded Roberto Luongo but it’s arguably on par
with the excitement created by Marc Denis and Martin Biron as they
progressed at the junior ranks.

Niittymäki, selected the best goaltender in the Finnish Elite League during
the first half of the season, faltered a tad at the World Juniors
(particularly in Finland’s game against Russia) and ended up splitting time
in goal with Devils draftee Ari Ahonen. It’s also true that Niittymäki’s
teammates did not play all that well in front of him in some of their key
games. However,
Niittymäki has bounced back strong upon the resumption of league play.The
rookie continues to rank #1 or #2 in most goaltending categories in the Read more»

OHL Prospect’s Game Report

by Bob Chery
on

Although just one game, the 2000 Prospect’s Game at the Air Canada Center
served as a microcosm for the scouting fraternity’s lukewarm response to this
year’s crop of CHL draft-eligibles. Complete packages are few and far between,
as players strong in one or more elements of the game leave you wanting for
more in other areas.

Trying to watch a game where everyone on the ice is a prospect can indeed be
a challenge. Sitting high behind the net in the first row of the upper deck, the
game has to be broken down into it’s most basic components. For starters,
who among the forwards can take the puck to the net on a consistent basis?
An ability to do so implies some combination of skating ability, acceleration,
stick-handling, and strength to fight off checks.

Mississauga’s LOU DICKENSON was the only player who was a consistent
threat throughout the game, utilizing his speed and acceleration to penetrate
the opposition net on several occasions. Unfortunately for Lou he came up
empty on each foray. Off this game, it would come as no surprise to anyone
that Lou showed well in the Prospect’s Skills Competition where he placed
in the top three for puck-control, the 60-foot dash, and the full lap.

Several more prospects gave a good account of themselves when the home-run
threat was dropped from the equation and other attributes were looked at.

TEAM CHERRY

Read more»

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