Reid McNeill
Image: NHL

Reid McNeill

Hometown:

London Ontario

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-04-29

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2010

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

6th round (170th overall), 2010

Weight:

204 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2008-09: Reid McNeill skated in 16 games for the Lambeth Lancers Junior D hockey club and had 4 assists with 12 PMs.

2009-10: In his first season of OHL play, McNeill managed 2 goals, 3 assists, a plus-11, and 32 penalty minutes in 53 games, playing primarily as a bottom-six shutdown defenseman. In 20 games with the Junior B London Nationals he had 7 assists with 6 PMs. McNeil was ranked 170th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was selected by the Penguins in the sixth round (170th overall) of the 2010 NHL Draft.

2010-11: McNeill saw elevated playing time in his second season with London and while his numbers, 2 goals and 4 assists in 62 games, weren’t much of an improvement, many other parts of his game, particularly the physical side, were much improved. At the end of the season, he was traded to the Barrie Colts where he will take on a greater offensive role.

2011-12: McNeill added an offensive component to his game in his third OHL season playing for Barrie. He scored 3 goals with 9 assists and was plus-nine with 60 penalty minutes in 51 games – missing time at the beginning of the year due to a concussion and also suffering a wrist injury that sidelined him most of February. Barrie finished second in the Central Division and reached the second round in the playoffs. McNeill was plus-one in 13 playoff games with no points and 22 penalty minutes. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Pittsburgh in May, 2012.

2012-13: McNeill finished the year with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, after spending most of his first pro season in the ECHL and missing nearly two months due to an early season concussion. He played his first AHL game with the Penguins in February and played in two April games before skating in 12 of 15 playoff games. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton finished third in the AHL’s East Division and reached the Eastern Conference Finals against Syracuse. In his 15 AHL games McNeill had 1 assist and was -1 with 14 penalty minutes. He scored 2 goals with 4 assists in 44 ECHL games with Wheeling and was -5 with 90 penalty minutes.

2013-14: McNeill skated for Penguins’ AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton in his second pro season — showing promise as a shutdown, defense-first defender on a team with several offensively-inclined defensemen. Steadily seeing increased ice time, he scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was +9 in 55 regular season games; leading the Penguins’ defense corps with 119 penalty minutes.  The Penguins finished second in the East Division and reached the AHL Eastern Conference finals for the second straight season. Teamed with Simon Despres and facing the opponents’ top line throughout the playoffs, McNeill was +2 with 1 goal and 2 assists and had 14 penalty minutes in 10 games before suffering a season-ending injury. 

Talent Analysis

Reid McNeill is a big, mobile, shutdown defenseman who possesses an incredible work ethic, and a constant drive to get better. McNeill has worked hard during the off-season to continue to add strength and speed and his size and strength give him the requisite physical dimensions to play at the NHL level. He will never be a big point producer but possesses soft enough hands to make a crisp, accurate first pass as well as cradle the puck. McNeill has a long reach and anticipates passes or shots well. His skating is above average, particularly backward and laterally, and he plays a smart positional game with solid gap control.

Future

McNeill attended training camp with the Penguins before being assigned to AHL affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2013-14 season. Now in his third pro season, he has come a long way since spending most of his first season in the ECHL. Surrounded by offensively-inclined, play-making defenders, he is the top shut-down, stay-at-home defensive defenseman at the AHL level for the Penguins. He continues to skate against the opposition's top forwards and with his size has also been willing to stand up for teammates when needed. Yet to crack the lineup for Pittsburgh, his progress seems to suggest that that may happen sooner rather than later. Long-term his defensive play and ability to prevent opposing scoring chances will likely be his calling card at the NHL level.

Pittsburgh Penguins putting prospect depth to test with recent rash of injuries

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Matt Murray - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Goaltender Matt Murray has been very solid in his first season of professional hockey. Murray has a 1.99 goals against average and .918 save percentage through 12 AHL games. (courtesy of Jeanine Leech/Icon Sportswire)

 

In what has seemingly become a rite of winter, the Pittsburgh Penguins organization is once again ravaged by injury, from the NHL level all through their minor league system.

Read more»

Pittsburgh Penguins possess newfound depth at forward

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Jean-Sebastien Dea - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Jean Sebastien Dea is part of a large group of forwards who are beginning their professional career with the Penguins organization. Dea was signed as a free agent in 2013. (courtesy of Mark Spowart/Icon Sportswire)

 

When Jim Rutherford took over the general manager job for the Pittsburgh Penguins last June, he inherited an organization that was shallow at forward, from the NHL level all the way through the prospect rankings. Rutherford did not take long to address the problem, first picking four forwards in the 2014 NHL Draft, then augmenting the Penguins NHL roster with several talented veteran players.

Read more»

Pouliot, Kapanen lead Pittsburgh Penguins 2014 Fall Top 20

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Derrick Pouliot - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Defenseman Derrick Pouliot remains the top player in the Pittsburgh Penguins prospect pool. Pouliot was selected eighth overall in the 2012 NHL Draft. (courtesy of Marissa Baecker/Getty Images)

 

The Pittsburgh Penguins began a new era in the 2014 offseason. They have a new general manager in Jim Rutherford, a new head coach in Mike Johnston, and a deeper group of forwards – at the NHL level and throughout the system – than the organization has seen in quite a while.

Read more»

Defense continues to headline Pittsburgh Penguins prospect pool

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Olli Maatta - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Olli Maatta has been one of the top young defensemen in the NHL this season, with seven goals and 18 assists through 58 games. Maatta also helped Finland win the bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics. (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins lead the NHL's Eastern Conference with 40 wins and 84 points despite amassing over 350 man-games lost to injury. The team has suffered major injuries at every position and at one point were missing four of their top-six defensemen, two of their top-six forwards, and their backup goaltender.

Read more»

Deep group of defensive prospects beginning to come of age for Pittsburgh Penguins

by Ian Altenbaugh
on

Brian Dumoulin - Pittsburgh Penguins

Photo: Brian Dumoulin is one of many talented young defensemen in the Penguins minor-league system. Dumoulin made his NHL debut on December 14th and played in six games before returning to the AHL. (courtesy of Abelimages/Getty)

The Pittsburgh Penguins currently lead the NHL in man games lost to injury and at one point were missing their entire top-four defensive unit. The team has not missed a beat, however, and currently leads the NHL's Eastern Conference with 63 points and 31 wins.

Read more»

Related Articles