Mark McNeill was born February 22, 1993 in Edmonton, Alberta. The 6'1, 204 pounds center shoots right. ISS ranked him in 15th place. He is expected to be a power forward.
Fist up the Scouting Report
While McNeill is primarily a talented grinder, he seems to be able to morph his game into whatever style is needed for a particular situation. While he is most often a physical player that likes to bang and crash, he can also play the role of skilled, finesse player when needed. McNeill is an under-rated passer (especially down low) and he has a quick hard wrist shot that he uses well. While McNeill may never be the flashiest player, he does have decent offensive capability.
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At about 6-2 and pushing 210-215 pounds, he's already a physically mature specimen, but will be an NHL project. McNeill is a pretty good skater for a big man but needs to work on his agility and change of direction.
My NHL Draft has a take on him.
Mark McNeill possesses hockey sense and skill that cannot be taught. Both intelligent and creative, he stands head and shoulders above most of the Raiders forwards and won numerous accolades for his play as a 17-year old this past season with the Prince Albert Raiders of the WHL. McNeill makes plays out of almost nothing and sees the ice and developing play as well as anyone in the WHL.
ESPN's Dallas Blog lists some positives and negatives.
Positives: Vision and anticipation. Play-making Physical play along the boards.
Negatives: Effort spotty at times. Lacks explosive first step.
Blue Shirt Banter has a well-thought out look at McNeill.
Going to the tough areas of the ice does not make you a potential first round pick. Scoring once you get there, however, does. That's one of McNeill's biggest strengths. He is most dangerous around the net, physically creating space for himself in areas where other players are rendered helpless.
Aside from scoring, McNeill has fantastic vision. I mean "vision" in two ways. One: He can pass the puck to anyone on the ice, at any time, at will. Two: He often passes the puck, then moves himself into open areas of the ice to put himself into goal scoring position. You can't teach that at 17, good thing he comes in knowing how to do it.
The Hockey Writers likes what they see.
A player that thrives on being strong on both ends, McNeill is also never afraid to drop the gloves and stick up for his teammates. To add to his impressive total of 81 points this year, he also finished with 53 penalty minutes.
Defensively, McNeill plays the shutdown role very well. He uses his strength and strong positioning to easily knock opposing players off the puck. He is also a strong faceoff man, which in addition to his strong defensive game makes him a good penalty killer.