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.

 

AJHL Quarter Finals (March 16th)

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[ Exclusive 2000 Draft Eligible Player Profiles and brief Scouting Reports. Click Here!!! ]
Lloydminster 4 at Fort Saskatchewan 1
The Lloydminster Blazers will live to see another day as the stage was set for Game Seven Thursday in Lloydminster.
Paul Esdale opened the scoring for the Blazers with 34 seconds remaining in the first period. Jamie Weiss and John Davidson assisted the goal. Lloydminster’s netminder Ray Fraser stopped 11 Fort Saskatchewan shots in the period.

In the second, the Blazers put an immense amount of pressure on the Traders’ end. They ended up with 17 shots on Fort Sask goaltender Nick Boucher but were only able to dent the twine once. Scott Pratt scored his team-leading fifth of the playoffs to make it 2-0 Blazers.

In the third period, Kyle Werner extended that lead to 3-0 11 minutes in and Brandon Denham scored his first of the playoffs – on the powerplay – with two minutes remaining to ice the game.

Fort Saskatchewan’s Ryan Campbell spoiled Fraser’s shutout bid by scoring with 23 seconds left, but that was all the 1,414 fans at Jubilee Rec Centre in Fort Saskatchewan would have to cheer about on this night.

Calgary Royals 2 at Olds 6 (Grizzlys win 4-2)
The Olds Grizzlys will now have the pleasure of facing the Calgary Canucks in the AJHL semi-finals as they completed a stunning upset of the Canucks’ cross-town rivals, the Calgary Royals. Read more»

Jeff Farkas: From College to the Pros?

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You are ranked the 25th top North American skater by the Central Scouting Bureau in your NHL draft-eligible year. You are ranked the 40th top prospect by The Hockey News that same year, which would project you somewhere in the top two rounds of the NHL draft. Some scouts have even projected you into the late first round of the draft. You wait and you wait and you wait, until finally your name is called in the 3rd round, the 57th overall pick of the 1997 NHL entry draft. No one doubts your skills, but some doubt your size and your instincts. You just might have a chip on your shoulder. You might just have some real motivation to prove the “experts” wrong. Jeff Farkas, a Boston College junior and a Toronto Maple Leafs draftee in that 1997 NHL draft, has taken some big steps to “prove them wrong”.

As a college freshman, Jeff Farkas was 6-0, 162 lbs. and the oldest player in that 1997 draft. “Has great skills, great speed, but is simply not big enough or strong enough to be an effective one-on-one player in the NHL. He is fast, but too fast, as he doesn’t use his speed effectively within the flow of team play. His speed is faster than his mind can work,” said those scouts in 1997. “He’s a project at best”, said others. There is a good chance that the Toronto Maple Leafs will someday soon be happy with that project they took on.
Read more»

AJHL Quarter Finals (March 14th)

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[ Exclusive 2000 Draft Eligible Player Profiles and brief Scouting Reports. Click Here!!! ]
Fort Saskatchewan 4 at Lloydminster 3
The Fort Saskatchewan Traders regained home ice advantage Sunday night with a 4-3 victory over the Lloydminster Blazers in Lloydminster.
John Findlay opened the scoring for the Traders 3:14 in on an unassisted, even strength goal. Kyle Werner tied it up for the home side only minutes later, however, as he scored his first of the playoffs. In the second, AJHL MVP Matt Gorman gave the Traders their second lead of the game on the powerplay assisted by John Findlay. Dan Gilbertson then made it 3-1 for the Fort with 2:15 to go in the period.

In the third, Mark Hallam brought the Blazers to within one with his second of the post season only 1:19 in, but the Traders regained their two goal advantage as Brent Popadych netted his first of the playoffs. A couple minutes later Paul Esdale made it close once again for Lloyd, but it was as close as they were going to get on this night.

Fort Saskatchewan goaltender Nick Boucher was phenomenal once again. He stopped 13 of 14 shots in the first, all 17 he faced in the second and 17 of 19 in the third. His counterpart Ray Fraser wasn’t as busy, facing seven, six and 10 shots in the three periods respectively.

Calgary 5 at Camrose 1 (Canucks win 4-0)
The Calgary Canucks became the second team to advance into the AJHL semi-finals and will play the winner of the Calgary Royals-Olds Grizzlys series. Read more»

Buccaneers Breeze to Anderson Cup

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Three wins by Des Moines over the weekend clinch regular season title
The Des Moines Buccaneers took their first step to a National Championship over the weekend by clinching the Anderson Cup for winning the regular season title. The wins also assured them a place in the upcoming Gold Cup playoffs for the National Junior Hockey Championship.

The weekend started at home for Des Moines with a 6-1 win against the North Iowa Huskies. The Buccaneers Peter Sejna figured in on 5 of the 6 Des Moines goals with one assist and 4 goals, one of which came on the power play. The Buccaneers then traveled the 103 miles North to Waterloo and finished clinching the cup with an easy 7-3 win against the Waterloo Black Hawks. Kelly Miller got the game-winning goal while Jerrid Reinholz, Pete Fregoe, and KC Caudill each added 2 goals apiece. Des Moines then added another 5-4 win against North Iowa, this time coming in Mason City.
Read more»

Montreal Canadiens Top junior Prospects Update

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POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Jose Theodore G 5-10 180 20 D-Mtl94 (2/44)

GP W L T Avg Sv%
98-99 Stats 21 10 9 2 2.49 .927 (AHL)
98-99 Stats 13 3 10 0 3.35 .887 (NHL)

#1 Strength- Winner’s attitude.
#1 Weakness- Inconsistency.
With the trade of Thibeault and the arrival of Hackett, Theodore was surprised and angered by his demotion to Fredericton. The main reason for his demotion was his inconsistent play. He has recently come to accept his demotion and was recently named the AHL’s player of the week. Barring injury, Theodore is guaranteed a large workload down the stretch and into the playoffs.

Theodore finished the week 1-0-1, with a GAA of 3.00. He stopped 36 shots in a 4-4 tie with Portland, and stopped 30 shots in an 8-2 thrashing of St.John’s. (Week ending 3/13/99)

Projection at NHL level- Star.
Current Stock Status- On the rise.

POS HT WT AGE DRAFTED
Mathieu Garon G 6-1 175 21 D-Mtl96(2/44)

GP W L T AVG Sav%
98-99 Stats 34 10 21 1 3.21 .897 (AHL)

#1 Strength- Lateral Movement.
#1 Weakness- Goes down too early. Read more»