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.

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