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.

 

The Weekend Warrior

by Randy Nicholson
on

Another in a series of weekly articles summarizing activity in Leafland during the previous 7 days – with some personal observations, commentary, prospect updates and fun thrown in for good measure.

Blueline makeover continues: After studying several other market opportunities, the Maple Leafs opted to stay with the organization’s long term focus on deadline day … rather than chasing any of the veteran blueliners available (Lumme, Housley, Houlder, Leschyshyn, Slegr, Svehla, Hedican etc.), Toronto obtained a player whose best years are still decidedly in front of him … Aki-Petteri Berg was selected 3rd overall by Los Angeles in the 1995 Entry Draft, behind only fellow defenders Bryan Berard and Wade Redden … a 5 year NHL veteran at the tender age of 23, Berg has thus far failed to live up to the lofty expectations attached to him during his junior career … Aki certainly has prototypical NHL size (6-3, 220) and is an extremely fast and agile skater … these two factors have allowed the strapping Finn to deliver many devastating hits already during his young career … it would be fair to say that Berg is mainly a “non-factor” on the attack at this point and that he still has much to learn about defensive play as well … during the 1998/1999 season, Aki played for Turku in the Finnish League following a nasty and prolonged contract dispute with the Kings … Berg joins a burgeoning group of young blueliners in the Toronto organization (Kaberle, McCabe, Markov, Belak, Svoboda, Rourke, Zion, Zavoral and others) and this key position could Read more»

Jiri Novotny – a darkhorse of the draft

by Robert Neuhauser
on

Name: Jiri Novotny
Position: Center
Team: HC Ceske Budejovice
Birthdate: August 12th, 1983
Birthplace: Jindrichuv Hradec, Czech Republic
Height: 6’2”
Weight: 190 lbs.
Shoots: R
CSB mid-term rank: 9th Read more»

Belleville Bulls

by Bill Thompson
on

The Bulls went 3-1-1 over the past two weeks to bring them into contention for their first division title in their 20 year history. They’ve come out on top through the playoffs a few times but have never tallied the most points during the regular season, thanks mainly to the 67’s. The Bulls showed their offensive talents with a 9-2 win over the Kitchener Rangers and a 9-3 win over the Oshawa Generals. They also beat Kingston 3-1, while battling to a 1-1 tie with Sudbury and losing to Barrie 7-4.

THE GAMES

KITCHENER(2) @ BELLEVILLE(9) – March 3

The game started off fairly slow with very little scoring or pace, but the Bulls got rolling in the second period and it turned ugly. As usual the top line for the Bulls did most of the damage, chasing Rangers goalie Scott Dickie from the game in favor of Jeff Johnston, who probably wished he was the stick boy rather than the back-up goalie on this night. Andre Benoit and Steve Eminger were the best players on the ice for Kitchener. Branko Radivojevic (2G, 2A) and Randy Rowe (1G, 3A) were the Bulls top scorers on this night. The top two lines of the Bulls were passing the puck very crisply catching the Rangers off guard most of the night. Kyle Wellwood (1G, 2A) was at his crafty best setting up some nice scoring opportunities, while Nate Robinson (2G, 1A) was flying all over the ice. Other point getters for the Bulls were: Mike Renzi (1G, 2A), Alex White (1G, 1A), Nick Policelli (1A), Matt Coughlin (1A), Brad Efthimiou (1A) and an honorable mention goes to Rob Dmytruk for scoring his Read more»

USHL Update – Dubuque Fighting Saints

by Jason Shaner
on
The 2000-2001 campaign has been tough to swallow for not only the Dubuque Fighting Saints coaching staff and players, but also for the Saints faithful fans. Prior to the beginning of the season rumors swirled as to whether or not the Saints would be around next year. Midway through the season the rumors became truth as it was announced the Saints were being moved to Tulsa, Ok to become the Tulsa Crude next season. With that being hung over them the Saints struggled early and often this season and although they have started winning a few games, the USHL playoffs have long been out of the picture, now they are playing for pride and memories.

Offense – Although Dubuque’s claim to fame is usually defense and goaltending, this season the Saints have been the proud possessor of one of the brightest budding stars in Jonathon Foster. Foster has 21 goals and 21 assists to lead the team with 42 points, not bad for a rookie. Foster is not the biggest of forwards as he stands in at 5’9” but he certainly is scrappy. On top of being tough in front of the net and at times fearless, he also is a strong open ice skater with the ability to fake his opponents out of their pads. Joining Foster on the offensive front is Luke Fulghum (Denver U.). Luke is a 3-year USHL veteran; the first 2 and ½ seasons were spent with the Waterloo Black Hawks, the Saints archrival. Luke certainly is the king of open ice moves as he is about as good as they get when it comes to overall skill for a forward. Combined between both teams on the season, Luke has scored 19 goals Read more»

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