Share with your friends
Share with your Friends

James Neal

James Neal  #18

NUMBER: 18 BIRTHDATE: September 3, 1987  (AGE 27)
HEIGHT: 6' 2" BIRTHPLACE: Whitby, ON, Canada
WEIGHT: 208 DRAFTED: DAL / 2005 NHL Entry Draft
Shoots: Left ROUND: 2nd   (33rd overall)
<span class="txt18Strg">YoungStar Profile </span><br /> <br /> <a href="#quick"><b>QUICK FACTS</b></a><br /> <a href="#he"><b>HE SAID IT</b></a><br /> <a href="#they"><b>THEY SAID IT</b></a><br /> <a href="#news"><b>IN THE NEWS</b></a><br /> <a href="#video"><b>VIDEO FEATURES</b></a><br /> <br /> <a name="quick"></a><b>QUICK FACTS</b><br /> Neal had 11 goals in his first 20 games this season after returning from a stint in the minors at the beginning of November. The time in the minors forced Neal to push harder: &quot;I kind of used it as motivation. I really wanted to get back and get to play in this game.&quot; <br /> <br /> On December 23, 2008, the Whitby, Ontario native recorded his first career hat trick against the Toronto Maple Leafs. The only other time he had stepped on the ice for an NHL game at the Air Canada Center in Toronto, he received a standing ovation as he dropped the puck after winning a gold medal with Team Canada at the 2007 World Junior Championships. His gold medal winning team included fellow YoungStars Bryan Little, Andrew Cogliano and Marc Staal as well as Western Conference starting forward Jonathan Toews. <br /> <br /> His younger brother, Michael, was drafted by the Stars, 149th overall in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. James commented on his brother's selection: &quot;We've always been close, and that's like a dream come true to play for the same organization.&quot; <br /> <br /> <a name="he"></a><b>HE SAID IT</b><br /> On improving at the NHL level: &quot;There's a lot I have to learn, and I understand that, but that's what you do. You come in and work hard and get better. It's a lot of experiences, and you just want to keep it heading in the right direction.&quot; <br /> <br /> On scoring his first career hat-trick in front of family and friends: &quot;It's a special day, coming home and playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. It's a dream come true playing here because I've watched them my whole life as a Leaf fan. I had a lot of family and friends here, so it's something special that I'll never forget.&quot; <br /> <br /> On winning a gold medal at the 2007 World Junior Championships: &quot;It was an unbelievable feeling to be able to put on the Canadian jersey. You grow up watching the World Junior Championships in Canada and everyone stops to watch them in Canada. So to put that jersey on for the first time was a very special moment. Then, being able to help win a gold medal is something I'll always remember.&quot; <br /> <br /> <a name="they"></a><b>THEY SAID IT</b><br /> Dallas Stars Head Coach Dave Tippett: &quot;He plays on both sides of the puck. He's going to be a strong two-way player, and that's what makes him so valuable. I really think he'll get to the point where you can play him in every situation on the ice. He can be a power forward, a top-six guy and a top penalty-killer. I really do believe he can take all of this and move forward.&quot; <br /> <br /> Dallas Stars veteran and linemate Mike Modano: &quot;He's coming to play every night, and that's a hard thing to do. He's working hard and he's had a great start. He's given us an area of our game that we haven't had in a long time.&quot; <br /> <br /> <a name="news"></a><b>IN THE NEWS</b><br /> <a href="">Neal Up To Task for Dallas</a><br /> <a href="">Stars Rookie Neal on the Rise</a><br /> <br /> <a name="video"></a><b>VIDEO FEATURES</b><br /> <a href=";id=19766">StarsTV: Neal Interview at Training Camp</a><br /> <br />
Quote of the Day

I'm going into this with an open mind. This is a very young player (23) with a tremendous, tremendous amount of upside.

— Rangers coach Alain Vigneault on Emerson Etem's potential