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Bulls Daniel Altshuller has some tough decisions ahead

Belleville Bulls goaltending prospect Daniel Altshuller is having a dream year. First with his hometown Nepean Raiders Jr.A club Altshuller took over the starting role when then starter Michel Kowalew suffered a serious ankle injury. It took Altshuller about 9 games to get adjusted to his new role with the club as he went 2-7 in that stretch before adjusting to the speed of the game. Altshuller then won seven of his next ten including a 3-2 win over the Cornwall Colts a perennial league powerhouse.

Daniel was then invited to the Team Ontario U-17 camp for the upcoming U-17 world challenge Altshuller was a long shot as his competition all had some experience playing in the CHL but Altshuller had a fantastic camp and made the team as a back up. At some point between being named to the team and the beginning of the tournament Altshuller had outplayed Jake Paterson (the original starter) and was named the starter just before the tournament was to begin.

Altshuller led Ontario to a 4-0 run in the round robin and eventually to a gold medal while being named the tournaments top goaltender. The Belleville Bulls third round pick received glowing reviews from Bulls GM George Burnett as he told the Ottawa Sun that "Daniel was the goalie of the tournament and that was a great oppurtunity for him to face such high-calibre talent every night." Altshuller then returned to the Raiders and finished off the season with a 19-13-6-4-1 record along with a 3.22 GAA and a .906 sv% leading the Raiders into a sixth place finish and a first round matchup with the Brockville Braves.

Then this summer an invite to the U-18 squad came along for the upcoming Ivan Hlinka tournament in the Czech Republic and of course Altshuller was on the flight overseas as the team left yesterday. Once again Altshuller was a bit of a long shot to make the team as he was the only one without any Major Junior experience. Battling for one of two roster spots with six goaltenders at camp some had said that he may make the team as the backup. Once again Altshuller not only found a way onto the squad but will be playing the starters role while wearing the Maple Leaf in the Czech next week.

Altshuller's quick rise has forced the Bulls to try and woo the young 17 year old (Altshuller turned 17 on July 24th) into the OHL and onto their roster. As he has expressed his interest in going the NCAA route instead of through Major Junior it's proving to be quite the task. There are other cards at play that make the situation more complicated for the Bulls, Altshuller's father Brian owns the Raiders his Jr.A club and his brother Shawn plays as a forward for the club. The Bulls may have some help from Hockey Canada who will surely advise Altshuller that the best thing for him would be the CHL.

In the meantime Belleville has room on their roster for Altshuller as they traded Tyson Teichmann to Erie just this week essentially giveing Daniel a spot on their roster. As of now it looks like Altshuller is closer to signing with Belleville than he's ever been but the Bulls will still have to wait for an official decision as Daniel will be spending the next few weeks stopping rubber in the Czech Republic.

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