Patrick McNeill

Patrick McNeill


Strathroy Ontario

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4th round (118th overall), 2005


197 lbs.

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2003-04: McNeill appeared in 57 games with last-place Saginaw as an OHL rookie. He scored 3 goals with 11 assists and was -19 with 28 PIM as the Spirit won just 16 games.

2004-05: McNeill was a team leader on another weak Saginaw team in his second year of junior hockey. McNeill was third on the Spirit in scoring with 7 goals and 26 assists and played almost 30 minutes per game on some nights for a team that won just 18 games. His -29 plus/minus was second-worst on the team to Matt Corrrente’s (NJ) -38. McNeill played in all situations and seemed to wear down a bit towards the end of the season. McNeill finished with 31 PIM.

2005-06: McNeill and the Saginaw Spirit were one of the big turnaround stories in the OHL under Coach Bob Mancini. McNeill was again the third-leading scorer for the Spirit and the top OHL defenseman with 21 goals and 56 assists with 64 PIM. His +24 plus/minus was an impressive reversal from 2004-05. McNeill was particularly effective on the power play, where he scored 15 of his 21 goals. The Spirit’s record of 36-30 with 2 overtime losses was good enough for second-place in the West division. In the Spirit’s four-game playoff loss to Guelph, he scored 1 power play goal with 3 assists and was -1 with 6 PIM.

2006-07: McNeill was a captain for Saginaw in his fourth OHL season. McNeill missed ten games with injury and failed to match the scoring numbers he put up the previous season, but that could also be attributed to playing on a balanced Spirit team that was among the top five teams in the league. Mc Neill scored 22 goals with 36 assists and was +8 with 49 PIM in 58 games. Sixteen of his 22 goals were scored on the man advantage. Despite finishing nine points ahead of Sault Ste. Marie during the regular season, Saginaw was upset by the Greyhounds in six games in the playoffs. McNeill scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -1 with 6 PIM in the series.

2007-08: McNeill split his first professional season between the Capitals’ AHL and ECHL affiliates in Hershey and South Carolina respectively. He joined Hershey on November 7 after opening the season in the ECHL and had an assist against Norfolk in his first AHL game. He also scored his first and only AHL goal of the season against the Admirals on December 28. McNeill missed some time in January after suffering a shoulder injury but finished fourth amongst Hershey rookies in points with 1 goal and 13 assists and was-4 with 16 PIM in 48 games. Five of his 13 assists came on the power play. He appeared in two playoff games for the Bears against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and was -1 in limited ice time. In the ECHL, he scored 5 goals with 11 assists and was +5 with 16 PIM in 19 games for South Carolina. He had two assists in his first pro game on Oct. 20 vs. Columbia and had points in 12 straight ECHL games – a streak that went from October to February due to his time in Hershey. In five playoff games with the Stingrays he had 2 assists and was -3 with 4 PIM.

2008-09: McNeill scored 3 goals with 15 assists and was +24 with 20 PIM in 46 games for the Hershey Bears. In the AHL playoffs, he played in 10 games with 3 assists and was +2 with 4 PIM.

2009-10: McNeill scored 8 goals with 27 assists and was +20 with 36 PIM as Hershey once again dominated the AHL. In eleven playoff games, he scored 3 goals with 3 assists and was +4 with 2 PIM in the Bears’ run to a second straight Calder Cup championship.

2010-11: McNeill skated in 51 games for AHL Hershey – making his season debut in December after missing time recovering from off-season shoulder surgery. McNeill was the Bears’ top offensive defenseman after returning; scoring 7 goals with 20 assists and was +7 with 30 PMs. He skated in all six playoff games and was -2 with 1 goal and 2 assists. McNeill spent time with the Capitals during the season but never saw any game action.

Talent Analysis

McNeill is an offense-first defenseman in an organization that likes to feature the backline in the attack. McNeill's mobility and puck movement skills are the strength of his game He does not play a particularly physical type of game but relies on positioning to prevent scoring opportunities. McNeill has a good shot and was one of the top power play quarterbacks in the junior ranks. He is very elusive and has terrific one-on-one ability. McNeill, despite his offensive ability, is sometimes a liability in his own end. He at times takes obstruction penalties after being beaten by opposition forwards due to improper positioning. He has improved in making the transition from attack to defense, but this is still a developing area of his game.

McNeill's defensive game is still a work in progress and, after being re-signed by the Capitals as a free agent, he will likely open the season with AHL Hershey. McNeill's style fits the game that the Capitals like to play but with players like Mike Green and John Carlson in Washington, and prospects Karl Alzner and Dmitri Orlov the defense picture is a crowded one. McNeill has the talent to play at the NHL level in a lower pairing, power play specialist role.