|Born||March 23, 1988 |
Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
|Height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight||190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)|
New York Islanders
|National team||Czech Republic|
|NHL Draft||34th overall, 2006|
Michal Neuvirth (born on March 23, 1988) is a Czech professional ice hockey goaltender currently playing for the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League (NHL).
He was selected 34th overall in the second round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Junior Playing Career[edit | edit source]
After being drafted into the NHL by the Capitals, Michal began a two-year major junior career in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
He began with the Plymouth Whalers in 2006–07 before being traded on November 13, 2007, to the Windsor Spitfires, along with defenceman Tom Kane and a fourth-round draft pick in 2009 in exchange for defenceman Michal Jordán, goaltender Matt Hackett, a 2008 second-round draft pick and a third-round pick in 2009.
After spending less than half a season with the Spitfires, he was traded yet again on January 8, 2008, to the Oshawa Generals along with Ryan Baldwin for forward Justin Shugg, goaltender Jakub Kovář and second-round picks in 2008 and 2011.
Professional Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Michal turned pro in 2008–09 with the South Carolina Stingrays, the Capitals' ECHL affiliate. During his short stint with the Stingrays, he was named to the 2009 ECHL All-Star Game for the American Conference.
He was called up to the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) during the season and, before long, received his first NHL call-up to the Capitals when starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov was sidelined due to injury.
Michal made his NHL debut on February 14, 2009, against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Making 31 saves, including a breakaway glove save on Vincent Lecavalier, he backstopped the Capitals to a 5–1 victory for his first NHL win.
He then played in his Capitals home debut on February 26 against the Atlanta Thrashers, recording another win with a 21-save effort. He finished the season appearing in five games total for the Capitals with a 2–1 record and 3.00 goals against average (GAA).
After being returned to the Bears, Michal helped his team to the 2009 Calder Cup finals. He recorded a shutout in game three for the Bears to take a 2–1 series lead against the Manitoba Moose.
Michal then went on with the Hershey Bears to win the 2009 Calder Cup, earning MVP honors after his game 6 win. Neuvirth went 16–6 in the playoffs and finished the post-season with a 1.92 GAA, topping Frédéric Cassivi's previous AHL playoff best of 2.10 GAA.
After helping the Bears to the back-to-back Calder Cups in 2010, Michal was named the starting goaltender of the Capitals' season opener on October 8th against Atlanta, in which he made 27 saves in a 4–2 loss. He would go on to beat-out Semyon Varlamov for the starting position for the entire season.
Despite a solid season as Washington's starter and an adequate playoff performance, Washington would demote Michal to backup goaltender status to make way for Tomas Vokoun, trading away incumbent backup Varlamov to the Colorado Avalanche in the process.
Vokoun's run as Washington's starter only lasted one season, however, and he was injured before the playoffs began. Unfortunately for Michal, he himself was also injured, allowing third goaltender Braden Holtby to start Game 1 of the first round series against the Boston Bruins.
Even though Michal managed to return to health in time for Game 3, Holtby went on to start for the duration of Washington's playoff run in 2012.
During the off-season, Vokoun left to take the backup goaltender job with the Pittsburgh Penguins. New Capitals head coach Adam Oates then confirmed Holtby as the new starting goaltender of the Washington Capitals during training camp, but failed to rule out Michal reclaiming the starters' role if he were to outplay Holtby.
Almost one year later, on March 2, 2015, he was traded by the Sabres to the New York Islanders in exchange for Chad Johnson and a third-round draft pick.
On July 1, 2015, Michal signed a two-year contract as a free agent with the Philadelphia Flyers.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|2008–09||South Carolina Stingrays||ECHL||13||6||7||0||762||29||2||2.28||.918||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2014–15||New York Islanders||NHL||5||1||3||1||306||15||0||2.94||.881||1||0||0||11||0||0||0.00||1.000|
Accolades[edit | edit source]
- Played in the ECHL All-Star Game in 2009.
- Won the Calder Cup with the Hershey Bears in 2009 & 2010.
- Won the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as Calder Cup Playoff MVP in 2009.
- Named the NHL Rookie of the Month for October 2010.
Records[edit | edit source]
- Calder Cup record; single-playoffs goals against average - 1.92 GAA (surpassed Frédéric Cassivi, 2.10 GAA)