Monday, November 28, 2011

Texas Adds Forward Neal, Signs Goalie Spratt

With two glaring needs in their lineup, Texas added to their ranks today by pulling from Idaho. Forward Michael Neal and goalie Jimmy Spratt will join the club in Cedar Park before they embark on a two game trip to Charlotte, North Carolina.

Michael Neal is under contract to Dallas and has played for Texas here and there before. He never really impressed a lot in his time here, but has done good work this year in Idaho and earned this callup through his play.

Credit to Justin Goldman of the Goalie Guild for calling the callup of Jimmy Spratt as the Dallas system's fifth tender. He has seen action in the ECHL and CHL in his three year career and will backup Tyler Beskorowany in his first callup to the AHL. I think this is more of a Adrien Lemay type callup, where he will not be expected to start any games, but it will remain to be seen if Coach Pyle has a different philosophy on giving his backups starts.

Here's the full release:
The Texas Stars announced on Monday that the club has recalled forward Michael Neal from the Idaho Steelheads, the Stars’ ECHL affiliate. Texas also announced the team has signed goalie Jimmy Spratt to a Professional tryout agreement (PTO).

Neal is in his third season within the Dallas Stars organization. The Whitby, ON native has played 22 games with Texas over the previous two seasons. During his time in Texas, the forward has three goals and 14 penalty minutes. The 22-year old played in 19 games with Idaho this season, totaling three goals and seven points. For his career, Neal has played in 144 pro games with Idaho and Texas, scoring 17 times and totaling 40 points. He was drafted by the Dallas Stars in the fifth round (#149 overall) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

Spratt is a third-year pro who started the season with the Idaho, going 5-5-0 with a 2.95 goals against average and a .920 save percentage over 12 games. He split last season between Toledo and Victoria of the ECHL, as well as Rapid City of the CHL. In all, Spratt made 20 appearances, going 9-7-1 with a 3.91 goals against average and a .873 save percentage. The Calgary Flames drafted the 26-year old in the seventh round (#213 overall) of the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

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