Chris Neil was born in Flesherton , Ontario on June 18, 1979, where he first started playing hockey. Eventually moving up to the OHL’s North Bay Centennial’s during his years in junior, Chris demonstrated that he was not only a physical presence but showed signs of a scoring touch as he averaged over 1 point per game in his final junior year.
Drafted by the Ottawa Senators 161 overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft and eventually making the Sens roster in the 2001-2002 season, Neil was a feisty player and often team pugilist, racking up 231 penalty minutes in 72 NHL games. Chris continued through his early years with the Sens, leading the team in penalty minutes and proving a tough combatant to any who challenged.
Neil’s role with the Ottawa Senators has been primarily as a “team enforcer”, although in the 2005-2006 season Chris saw that role expand to a more offensive one as Ottawa acquired more toughness that allowed the right winger to concentrate more on point totals. Chris responded with his best offensive year ever scoring 16 goals and 33 points. The Ottawa coaching staff, in turn, responded by promoting him to special team duties including power play shifts.
A devout Christian, Neil met university of Ottawa graduate Caitlin and were married at the Kanata Wesleyan Church in July, 2006. Chris and his wife Caitlin celebrated the birth of their first child, Haley Jean, on June 1, 2007 and Chris dedicated his next goal to his new baby girl.
In mid 2011 Chris and Caitlin were named honourary chairs of Rogers House, a local Ottawa charity started by former Ottawa Senators coach Roger Neilson to provide a home away from home for sick children and their families.
While maintaining a family residence in Stittsville, the Ottawa right winger purchased and re-built a summer home in the Calabogie Lake area about an hour outside of Ottawa.
Chris signed a 3 year contract extension with the Ottawa Senators for a reported $5.75 million in July 2012 ensuring he stays a Senator for years to come.