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NHL PLAYER, James Neal

BIOGRAPHY

Born Sep 03, 1987 -- Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Selected by Dallas Stars round 2 #33 overall 2005 NHL Entry Draft

James Neal (born September 3, 1987) is a Canadian professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League (NHL). While playingjunior with the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), he was selected 33rd overall by the Dallas Stars in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. After a season with the Stars' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Iowa Stars, he played his NHL rookie years with Dallas in 2008–09. During his third NHL season, he was traded to the Penguins. James Neal is known for his good hands and he also has a quick release. He is one of the top NHL wingers.

On October 3, 2009, Neal recorded the Stars' first and second goals of the season against the Nashville Predators. He improved to 55 points in his second NHL season. On September 16, 2010, Neal signed a two-year contract extension with the Stars, worth $2.25 million the first year and $3.5 million the second. Leading up to the 2010–11 trade deadline, Neal was traded to thePittsburgh Penguins, along with defenseman Matt Niskanen, for defenseman Alex Goligoski on February 21, 2011. Neal scored his first career playoff goal on April 20 against the Tampa Bay Lightning in double overtime to give Pittsburgh a 3–1 series lead.

On February 19, 2012, one day after scoring 30 goals for the first time in his career, Neal signed a six year contract extension with an average annual value of $5 million. Neal scored his second career hat trick, first as a Pittsburgh Penguin, in a 8–4 win against the Winnipeg Jets on March 20th, 2012. James Neal had a breakout season finishing with 81 points.

In the off-season, he was invited to the Canadian national junior team's summer evaluation camp. His physical presence and hard hitting impressed the coaches and he was brought back to the team's selection camp in December 2006. His play earned him a spot on the club for the 2007 World Junior Championships in Sweden, where he helped Canada to a gold medal. Two years later, Neal moved on to Canada's men's team for the 2009 IIHF World Championship in Switzerland. He notched three points in as many contests, helping Canada to a silver medal finish in the tournament. In 2011 he played for team Canada at the 2011 IIHF World Championship in Slovakia.

On June 27th, 2014, during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Neal was traded by the Penguins to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Patric Hornqvist and Nick Spaling.

Neal had an excellent year in 2015–16, scoring 31 goals, 58 points, and setting a new Predators franchise single-season record for plus/minus with +27.   On June 21, 2017, Neal was selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft as a Predators' unprotected player.   Source: Wikipedia

NEWS

Neal selected by the Vegas Golden Knights in expansion draft June 22, 2017

James Neal will ply his trade with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18, after being selected during the NHL expansion draft last night. The 29-year-old winger was one of the biggest star acquisitions made by the Golden Knights, and will be leaned on to provide a bulk of the scoring in the upcoming season. When it comes to putting the puck in the back of the net, the Whitby, Ontario-native has been a model of consistency. Since entering the NHL in 2008-09, Neal has tallied at least 20 goals or more in each season, including a career-high 40 in 2011-12.

For more on Neal, keep reading the cbc.ca story here

Neal scores as Predators bounce back in Game 2 June 05, 2017

James Neal scored his 6th goal of the 2017 NHL Playoffs on Saturday, as the Nashville Predators steamrolled the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning by a score of 5-1. The 29-year-old winger scored a crucial goal late in the second period to give Nashville a 3-1 lead, all but ending the Penguins hopes of mounting a comeback. The goal was Neal’s 25th career playoff goal, and 14th in Nashville Predators uniform.

For more on Saturday’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Neal comes up big in Predators win May 15, 2017

James Neal scored the game-winning goal in overtime Friday night, as the Nashville Predators took Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals versus the Anaheim Ducks, 3-2. It was the 29-year-old sharpshooting winger’s second game-winner of the 2017 Playoffs, and he would eventually go on to be named the 1st star of the contest.

For more on Friday’s game, check out the nhl.com recap here

Neal’s fast start propels Predators to victory December 21, 2016

James Neal scored two goals last night—including the game winner—as the Nashville Predators defeated the New Jersey Devils, 5-1. The 29-year-old put the Devils in a 2-0 hole early on, scoring his 13th and 14th goals of the season by the 7:15 mark of the first period. He added a game-high 5 shots on the net and finished the contest with a +2 rating. He would eventually go on to be named the 2nd star of the game.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Neal and Ribeiro guide Predators to victory November 18, 2016

Mike Ribeiro was named first star and James Neal continued his scoring streak, as the Nashville Predators defeated the Ottawa Senators, 5-1. Ribeiro tallied a goal and an assist in the contest, while Neal created a bit of history by scoring a goal in his 6th straight game, tying a Predators’ record. Few players have been hotter than the 29-year-old sniper of late, with the big-bodied winger tallying 7 goals and an assist in his last 6 games.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Neal keeps streak alive in Preds’ win November 14, 2016

James Neal scored for the 4th straight game on Saturday, tallying twice in the Nashville Predators 5-0 win over the Anaheim Ducks.  Nashville’s three-game winning streak coincides with Neal’s current run of form. The sharpshooting winger has been one of the hottest scorers in the league of late, registering 5 goals and an assist in his last four games.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com post here

 

Subban and Neal lead Predators to victory November 09, 2016

The Nashville Predators defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1 last night, due in large part to the offensive contributions of P.K. Subban and James Neal. Deadlocked at 0-0 after one period of play, both Subban and Neal scored in the first four minutes of the second period, each assisting on the other’s goal. Both would go on to be named amongst the game’s three stars, with Subban taking top honours. Neal, who was named the game’s 3rd star, has been hot of late, tallying three goals and three assists in his last five games.

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com story here

Neal stars in Predators’ triple overtime win May 06, 2016

James Neal scored the equalizer late in the 3rd period last night, in the Nashville Predators’ 4-3, triple overtime victory over the San Jose Sharks. The 28-year-old winger finished the contest with 2 points, a game-high 8 shots on net, and led all forwards in ice-time with 38:59.  Through 11 playoff games, the Whitby, Ontario-native has 6 points (4 goals, 2 assists) and is 4th overall in shots with 40.

For more on Neal and last night’s game, check out the nhl.com story here

Neal comes up big as Predators avoid elimination April 26, 2016

James Neal was named the first star last night, as the Nashville Predators forced a 7th and decisive game, beating the Anaheim Ducks by a score of 3-1.  The smooth skating power forward notched a goal and an assist in the contest, and led his team in shots with 4. The 28-year-old, Whitby-native is coming off a season that saw him register 30 or more goals for the second time in his career.

For more on Neal and last night’s game, check out the nhl.com story here

Neal named 3rd star in Preds’ victory March 22, 2016

James Neal helped solidify the Nashville Predators’ playoff position last night, scoring a goal and an assist in a 5-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings. The 28-year-old sharpshooter tallied his 28th goal of the season, his highest total since scoring 40 with the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2011-12. Neal has been one of the hottest scorers in the NHL of late, registering 5 goals in his last 4 games.

For more on last night’s game, check out the nhl.com recap here

Neal’s hat trick propels Predators to victory March 15, 2016

James Neal did the heavy lifting last night, scoring all three goals in Nashville’s 3-2 win over Edmonton. It was Neal’s sixth career hat trick, and 2nd since joining Nashville from Pittsburgh in June of 2014.  The rugged winger has been a dependable scorer wherever he has played, registering 20 or more goals in all 8 of his NHL seasons. The Whitby, Ontario-native already has 26 goals in 2015-16, putting him on pace for his highest scoring output since 2011-12.

For more on last night’s game, check out the nhl.com story here

Neal leads the attack in Predators win October 19, 2015

James Neal scored three times on Saturday night—twice in regulation, once in the shootout—as the Nashville Predators came from behind to defeat the Ottawa Senators, 4-3. The sharpshooting, power forward scored the go-ahead goal in the third period before ending the match with the shootout winner.  He finished the game with a +2 rating, 5 shots on net and 3 hits.

For more on Neal, keep reading the nhl.com recap here

Neal goes above and beyond with Smilezone Foundation August 26, 2015

James Neal returned to his hometown of Whitby, Ontario this week to make a presentation for the Smilezone Foundation, a collaborative effort to help improve the lives of children facing illnesses and disabilities at clinics and hospitals. The 27-year-old Predators’ winger appeared at the new Grandview Abilities Centre on Tuesday, where he helped open up the doors to the new refurbished facility.

For more on Neal, keep reading the predators.nhl.com story here

Neal scores winner in Predators’ victory April 24, 2015

With the Nashville Predators on the brink of elimination, James Neal came through with a clutch, game-winning goal early in the third period, guiding his team to a convincing 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks. The 27-year-old also added an assist in the win, and went on to be named the 2nd star of the contest.  Neal found the back of the net 23 times in 2014-15, his 7th consecutive season with 20 or more goals.

For more on Neal and last night’s game, check out the nhl.com article here

Neal Happy in Nashville February 02, 2015

After being traded more than 7 months ago from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Nashville Predators, right winger James Neal has embraced his new home, helping guide his new team to an NHL-best 70 points. Neal sits second in goals (16) on a balanced Predators’ attack that boasts seven players with ten or more goals.  The sharpshooter has also been a timely scorer, netting a team-high, four game-winning goals in his first season with Nashville. Besides the offensive accolades, the 27-year-old NHL veteran has been a leader on and off the ice, proving without a doubt that he has been a good fit for the Predators.

For more on Neal, keep reading the nhl.predators.com story here

Neal and Ribeiro guide Predators to victory January 14, 2015

James Neal and Mike Ribeiro registered two assists each last night, as the Nashville Predators defeated the Vancouver Canucks by the score of 5-1. Nashville currently leads the NHL in points with 62, and a lot of that is in due part to their two, key summer acquisitions, Ribeiro and Neal.  The former has been a revelation as the team’s No. 1 center, averaging almost a point a game in his first season with the club (9 goals, 29 assists). Neal meanwhile has been excellent in his last 10 games, scoring four goals and adding six assists in that span.

For more on last night’s game, check out the tennessean.com article here

Ribeiro and Neal looking to rekindle chemistry in Nashville September 11, 2014

After last teaming up with the Dallas Stars in 2011, Mike Ribeiro and James Neal are hoping to create a successful partnership once again, this time with the Nashville Predators. For Ribeiro, his best years came while playing for the Stars, including back-to-back 56 assist seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09.  Neal broke in with Dallas in 08’-09’, and has since gone on to become a prolific sniper, scoring at least 20 or more goals in all 6 NHL seasons he has played.

For more on Ribeiro and Neal, check out the thescore.com article here

Neal takes his goal-scoring prowess to Nashville July 01, 2014

After spending the last 3 seasons in Pittsburgh putting up point-per-game numbers, James Neal will now ply his trade with the Nashville Predators. A team best known for a defensive style, the 26-year-old sniper gives them a bona fide 30-40 goal scoring threat for the first time in their 16-year history. In 59 games this past season, the Whitby, Ontario-native scored 27 goals and dished out 34 assists.

For more on Neal, keep reading the nhl.com piece here.

Neal helps Pens secure shootout victory April 10, 2014

James Neal scored twice in the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3, shootout win over the Detroit Red Wings last night. The 26-year-old also took six shots on net and was named the 2nd star of the game. Despite being injured for a large part of the season, the Whitby, Ontario-native has maintained a point-per-game production, putting up 58 points in 57 games played.

For more on Neal and last night’s win, check out the espn.com piece here.

Neal carries the load in Pens victory December 30, 2013

James Neal played a part in all five of his team’s goals, Sunday, as the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-3.  The 26-year-old winger led the charge with a hat trick, two assists and five shots on net.  Despite missing almost half the season with an upper body injury, Neal has been a dominant force for Pittsburgh, putting up 30 points in just 21 games. He currently leads the NHL in points per game with an impressive ratio of 1.43. 

For more on last night’s game, keep reading the nhl.com recap here.

James Neal beginning to heat up November 21, 2013

After an upper-body injury had kept him out for the first month of the season, James Neal looked like his old self last night, scoring a goal and assisting on another, as the Penguins beat the Caps 4-0. The 26-year-old winger has gotten it going of late, putting up 4 points (2 goals, 2 assists) in his last 4 games.

For more on Neal and the Pens win last night, keep reading the nhl.com recap here.

Subban, Stamkos among top names invited to Canada’s Olympic camp July 23, 2013

With the Sochi 2014 Olympics right around the corner, Hockey Canada announced their preliminary list of 47 players for the nation’s upcoming orientation camp in late August. Headlining that list is the newly crowned Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban, along with 2-time Maurice “Rocket” Richard award winner Steven Stamkos. Other notable invitees include: Drew Doughty, Jordan Eberle, Mike Green, Dan Hamhuis, Brad Marchand, James Neal, Corey Perry, Dion Phaneuf, Alex Pietrangelo, and Mike Richards.

For more on this story, keep reading the NHL.com piece here.

For more on Subban's reaction to being invited to the Olympic camp, check out the montrealgazette.com article here.

James Neal is the 'real deal' February 15, 2013 – Indiana University of Pennsylvania - Kelly Dumrauf, The Penn, Sports Editor

It’s safe to say everyone in Pittsburgh agrees – James Neal is the real deal.

The Penguins upswing was looking like a thing of the past as they took on New Jersey in a home-and-home series Saturday and Sunday, dropping both games and looking less than impressive.

In their two games against the Devils, the Pens managed to score just two goals, allowing six, in two 3-1 losses. Pittsburgh would rebound Wednesday, improving their home record to 3-3, with a 4-2 victory over Ottawa. 

For more on this story, click here:

Source: Kelly Dumrauf, The Penn, Sports Editor