Prospect Profile: Owen MacNeil

Photo Source: Spokane Chiefs Twitter

Name: Owen MacNeil

Team: Calgary Royals (AMHL)

Position: Center

Date of Birth: May 31st 2003

Hometown: Calgary, Alberta

Height/Weight: 5’11 154lbs

Hand: Left

WHL Draft: 39th Overall in 2018 – Spokane Chiefs (Signed)

 

*Eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft*


Areas of Strength

  • Balanced Game
  • Poised
  • Strength along the wall

Areas of Weakness

  • Mental Consistency
  • Defensive Consistency
  • East-West Game

 

Player Report: Captain of his Calgary Royal’s Bantam AAA team Owen MacNeil went into the WHL draft as out 32nd ranked player, he slipped a few spots from where we had ranked him and ended up going 39th overall to the Spokane Chiefs. A Calgary born centre, MacNeil spent both his bantam seasons at the AAA level with the Calgary Royals. He posted 17 points in 35 regular season games during his rookie season in 2016-2017. He returned to the team in his WHL Draft season and led his team in scoring producing 54 points in 40 total games over the season, and six points in eight total games with the Royals Minor Midget Blue team. MacNeil is primed for an incredible Midget AAA season with the Calgary Royals, coming off a great camp with the Chiefs. 

Owen MacNeil is a balanced centerman who excels in all areas/aspects of the game. Calm and composed in high pressure situations. A formidable presence when it comes to leadership qualities and leading by example. MacNeil has a high work ethic along the wall and also productive in one on one battles. A respectable skater, MacNeil has a fluid powerful stride. He doesn’t possess above average speed on the rush but makes up for it with a strong lower frame. Possesses a relentless motor in which he allows his competitiveness and strength to take control. When MacNeil steps on the ice he dictates the games zone time, providing a dependable 200ft presence and a go-to centre man in transition. MacNeil’s defensive zone play is spectacular, he’s constantly engages in the play and supports his defenders while being aware of the opposition’s positions. He’s consistently aware of his surroundings and takes a load off of defenders back. Efficient on his zone entries as he north-south player on the attack who focuses on either burning a defender wide by imposing his strength on him in a persistent line of attack to the net, or by stopping up and allowing his team mates to open options for him. MacNeil’s offensive zone play is more tenacious than others his age, he’s a tough combatant to contain along the wall with his constant footwork and shield of the puck while also being able to pull of skillful plays in tight around his body. He is a puck possessive forward who takes on a massive physical workload. Creates offensive off the boards with crafty puck control when attacking traffic or by a strong low net drive.  I’d call MacNeil more of a power forward offensively, he has a knack for fending off checks and being first in on the forecheck. While I do also think he displays playmaking characteristics at times, he’s got above average perimeter vision with the puck and has showcased his ever-growing confidence to make passes through traffic. When rarely without the puck MacNeil focuses on playing high in the offensive zone to quickly support the puck carrier if need be or his defenders if there is a turnover. MacNeil’s focus of being on the defensive side of the puck and playing responsible defensively makes him one of the most unique centre man at his age, it is rare to find a player with that kind of awareness in all three zones. He will need to focus on becoming quicker and more explosive. His consistency also lacks at times, whether it be with a mental error that causes a turnover or a defensive coverage mistake that can lead to a scoring opportunity. He does all the right things defensively but just needs to do it on a shift by shift basis.

Overall I think Owen MacNeil has all the necessary tools of a dependable two-way centre. He exerts a lot of those similar mental capabilities to a player like Mark Kastelic in his younger years. Both I felt focused on defensive play while also utilizing strength and grit to create there own offence. Kastelic’s offensive game really started to come around at the WHL level one he got quicker and stronger, I think Kastelic has more appealing physical tools but MacNeil’s quite similar in his style of play. I’d bet on MacNeil cracking the Spokane Chiefs roster in the 2019-2020 season as a 16 year old. His role may be limited but he will find his niche. In his 18/19/20 years MacNeil could reach a 40/50/60 point player whose also depended on in defence aspects of the game. An outstanding pick at 39, I felt MacNeil could have bursted into the late first round if a team had adored his player after the John Reid Memorial Tournament.

 

Past Seasons:

2016-2017 – Calgary Royals: 35GP-6G-11A-17PTS 30PIMS Playoffs: 3GP-0G-1A-1PTS 4PIMS

2017-2018 – Calgary Royals: 35GP-15G-32A-47PTS 66PIMS Playoffs: 5GP-3G-4A-7PTS 14PIMS

CRAA Blue: 5GP-1G-2A-3PTS 2PIMS Playoffs: 3GP-1G-2A-3PTS 10PIMS

 

Accolades: