Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by TSV, Apr 9, 2006.
What are your impression on those 2 prospects ??
James Neal (DAL)
Juraj Mikus (MTL)
James Neal is currently leading the Plymouth Whalers in OHL playoff scoring with 5 G
James Neal has 5G and 5A with the Plymouth Whalers to lead them in scoring. He had a decent year this year. He was third in team scoring, played on the PP and PK.
James was a very physical player this year and has put on a few pounds. He can also fight he was involved in a couple this year and did very well for himself.
He will be a star player next year for the Whalers and a future Star for Dallas if he keeps progressing the way he is.
Sorry for the previous post finger slipped. OPPS
thanks GMS !!
anyone else ??
Sorry but I can't add too much. Mikus is the one Hab prospect I've seen the least and the only prospect I haven't seen since being drafted. The only time I saw him play was at the U-18's. He showed good speed, skinny frame but his speed seems to be one of his better assets. I've heard all kinds of stuff about his offensive skills but I haven't seen it yet. This year stats wise, he set a career high in games played, assists, points, and pims but he went through a long scoring drought and only mildly outpaced last years numbers in the Slovak Elite League.
Hopefully he comes to camp this summer and I get off work, if not I hope TSN shows some of Slovakia's games at the wjc's.
I agree to an extent. I'm not sure how much of a star he can be at the NHL level though. I think if he keeps progressing he could be a very good third liner. Like a 20/20 guy who plays the PK and is a team leader.
Here is what Hockeysfuture thinks!
James Neal, LW Age: 18
Ht: 6'3 Wt: 190
Plymouth Whalers (OHL)
After his second full OHL season, 2005 second round draft pick James Neal has yet to put together a consistent season of scoring, but he's on his way.
In the 32 games leading up to the Christmas break, Neal scored an impressive 13 goals and added 25 assists. He was named the OHL Player of the Week Dec. 12 for a pair of three-point games, a one-goal, two-assist performance in a 6-3 win over Sarnia Dec. 8 and a three-assist performance in a 6-3 over Owen Sound Dec.10. After the Christmas Break, Neal's production cooled.
"I think he was a little hesitant to shoot the puck," Plymouth head coach Michael Vellucci said in an interview with Hockey's Future. "He was getting all the chances, that's obviously the positive, he just wasn't getting all of the breaks that he needed and it started to playing into his mental game a little bit."
Neal scored 18 goals and 26 assists in 67 games in 2004-05, respectable numbers for a 17-year-old OHL rookie, but his production in February and March shrank as his fatigue grew.
"Last year, I think he wasn't very strong," Vellucci said. "Up to that point, his body was still growing and his strength hadn't caught up to him yet."
Now 6'3, 190 pounds, Neal's starting to fill out his frame, making him one of the best younger power forwards in the OHL.
"I think he's probably one of the best hitters in our league, if not our best body checker," Vellucci said. "He's really physical out there."
After a lean January and early February, Neal was able to finish the season strong, scoring seven goals and seven assists in his final 13 games of the season, including a hat trick against Plymouth in Mar. 17. Entering the playoffs with 21 goals and 37 assists in 66 games during the regular season, Neal caught fire again in the first round of the playoffs.
Third in Plymouth scoring during the regular season, Neal leads the Whalers in scoring after the first round of the playoffs with five goals and four assists. After beating the Windsor Spitfires in Game 7, Neal will have the opportunity to build on his totals in the OHL Western Conference Semi-Finals.
Along with putting together a slump-free regular season, Neal has another tangible goal for the 2006-07 season: playing for Team Canada at the World Junior Championships. Despite his hot start in 2005-06, Neal was noted invited to Team Canada's Selection Camp in December.
"I was kind of shocked he wasn't invited to camp this year," Vellucci said. "I don't think he gets enough recognition for how good of a hockey player he really is. He's always been on the backburner to a lot of guys his age. I think he's an exceptional player and I don't think he gets enough credit."
With 35-year-old Bill Guerin's career appearing to be winding down, Dallas will be in need of a power forward in the next few years. Neal must continue to fill out his frame and improve his skating, but he's still the Stars prospect most likely to provide size, physicality, and some "O" in the "Big D."
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