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.

 

Mario Larocque profile and the IHL Notebook

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Player: Mario Larocque
Date of Birth: April 24, 1978
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Height: 6′ 3″
Weight: 195 lbs
Position: Defence

YEAR TEAM LGE GP G A PTS PIM
1995-96 Hull QMJHL 68 7 19 26 196
1996-97 Hull QMJHL 64 13 37 50 160
1997-98 Sherbrooke QMJHL 28 6 10 16 125
1998-99 Tampa Bay NHL 5 0 0 0 16
1998-99 Cleveland IHL 48 3 7 10 162

Mario was selected by Tampa Bay in the 1st round (16th) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft. Last year Mario played in the QMJHL with Sherbrooke Faucons and was limited to 28 games due to an injury. he played 2 full seasons with Hull of the QMJHL and finished 2nd in scoring for defenceman in 95-96 season with 26 points as a 17 year old rookie. Was named to the 1995-96 QMJHL All-Rookie Teams. Mario scored 50 points in his 2nd seson if junior hockey and finished 1st among Hull defencemen with a + 48 +/- . He posted a +20 in 14 playoff games as Hull won the Memorial Cup. Mario made his NHL debut in his hometown of Montreal Quebec with the Tampa Bay Lightning. Read more»

AJHL Division Finals (March 27th)

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Lloydminster 1 at St. Albert 4 (Blazers lead best-of-seven series 3-2)
After winning by far the biggest game of the season in front of by far the most-packed house of the season, the St. Albert Saints are still alive and are now one game away from making this a best-of-one series with that one game at home, but first they must win a game in Lloydminster. The game opened with the Saints putting a huge amount of pressure on Lloyd netminder Ray Fraser. Fraser was equal to the task in the early going and then the Blazers took the puck the other way. It was then Kirby Millar’s chance to make some spectacular saves. Eventually the Saints did take over the tempo of the period, however, as Joey Bastien scored to make it 1-0 Saints. The Saints then increased their lead to 2-0 when Mike Buchan found the puck loose during a mad scramble in front of the net and put it in behind Fraser. The Saints would go in to the intermission with a comfortable 2-0 lead. Read more»

AJHL Division Finals (March 26th)

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Calgary Canucks 4 at Olds 3 (OT) (Canucks lead best-of-seven series 3-1)
The Olds Grizzlys came oh-so-close to making this a series but now, with the Canucks up 3-1, it will take a miracle for Olds to win the next three games (including two in Calgary).
The Grizz played a very gritty game and overcame one of Calgary’s seemingly-patented offensive explosions in the first period. It was Calgary that opened the scoring – Kevin Magowan from David Wilding with 7:27 to go in the period – but while the Canucks were on a powerplay, the Grizzlys evened it up. Tyler Brosz took a Joel Macauley pass and went in on Calgary goalie Mike Gilhooly with 1:56 remaining. It was at this time that Calgary exploded offensively. With 1:29 left Ryan Manitowich made it 2-1 Canucks and with five seconds left Moe Halat made it 3-1. Both goals were on the powerplay.

For the rest of the game, the Grizzlys played it very conservative defensively but did get their chances. In the second period, with 7:41 to go they closed the gap to 3-2 thanks to a John Wegenast goal and, with 16:40 left in the third, Tyler Brosz scored his second of the game and tied it up.

In Overtime, the Canucks scored just over three minutes in, nullifying an outstanding effort all-around by the Grizzlys. Ryan Manitowich scored his ninth of the playoffs to give Calgary a 4-3 overtime victory.

Three Stars
(1) Ryan Manitowich – Avoids a scare for his club by scoring the goal in OT. Read more»

Chris Bogas and Dimitri Yakushin: Sleeper Maple Leafs Prospects

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In the late 70′s, singers Dan Fogelberg and Tim Weisberg collaborated on a folksy-rock album called “Twin Sons of Different Mothers”. That title could aptly describe two young, Toronto Maple Leafs defensive prospects, Dimitri Yakushin and Chris Bogas. Bogas is toiling for The Michigan State Wolverines as a senior defenseman and Yakushin is learning his trade as a defenseman for the St. John’s Maple Leafs as a rookie in the AHL.

“The thing that grabs you about Dimitri’s game is his poise for the puck. Rookie defensemen in the AHL often look to give up the puck as soon as they receive it. Dimitri has that confidence that he is going to look for the right play to make. He doesn’t panic with the puck”, states Chris Schwartz, St. John’s director of media relations for the club. “He has some of the same puckhandling moxie of Tomas Kaberle”, Schwartz adds.

“He wants the puck in the tough situations, with the game on the line. His size and toughness are excellent, but his skating and puckhandling sets him apart as well”, says MSU head coach Ron Mason about his senior defenseman, Chris Bogas. “His role has changed a bit over the years at MSU”, he states. “Chris has filled the role of tough-defenseman, adding offense from the blueline and working the special teams as we have needed it. He has filled those roles very well”, Mason adds. “He jumped right into our program as a freshman and hasn’t looked back ever since”.
Read more»

2000 Prospect Profiles (Plymouth Whalers)

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Kris Vernarsky

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 185

Team: Plymouth

Position: Left Wing

HF Comments: Big for his age, Kris still has a ways to go with his skating skills.
While his speed isnt bad, he skates with his legs too far apart, which affects his
agility. He has a decent shot, and passes well, but doesnt put up big numbers due
to limited ice time.
Kris’ defense is decent, but he needs to learn to shadow a little
better; he often leaves his man totally alone. Physical game has gotten better as the
season has worn on. He has size, but he doesnt use it to his advantage very often.
Kris needs plenty of ice time to be effective. In games where he gets
this, he plays well. When he doesnt get the ice time, his play suffers, and he
does little but eat up ice time. Also, when he doesnt get his ice time, he doesnt
get “into” the game, and is often a step behind the play. Has come on very well in
the playoffs, and has played a regular shift. He hasnt put up big
numbers, but he has been a physical presence, and shows flashes of
offensive brilliance. Similar to Charlie Stephens, this kid has all the tools, he just lacks polish. I cant wait to see him next
season when he is on a #2 scoring line.

Jared Newman

Height: 6′”

Weight: 180

Team: Plymouth

Position: Defensemen

HF Comments: Jared is a defensve defenseman, and reminds me a lot of his teammate,
Shaun Read more»

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