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Interview with Belleville Bulls, Jordan Subban

The history of Subban and Belleville has gone back all the way to 2005/06, 5 full seasons now has a Subban donned the Red, Black and Yellow of the Belleville Bulls jersey. And this year, 2011/12 there will be Two Subbans on the ice. In May the Bulls selected Jordan Subban, a defenceman from the Toronto Marlboros, 5th overall. Jordan will join his brother Malcolm, Belleville starting goaltender, on the ice in hopes of turning around the Bulls franchise who finished 8th in the Eastern Conference last season. Jordan has a lot of upside and is more touted than both his brothers while at the same age. He is very sought after and this definitely is not his first interview, but it is the first with ITO. Here is my email interview with the blueline rookie, Jordan Subban.



Jordan, I like to start with this question so I have to ask. OHL Showcase Cup. Winning it all. Explain the feeling in two words. go! lol but seriously to be at this level a tremendous feat no?

Two words I would use to describe the feeling would be extremely ecstatic. We worked really hard as a team and to be able to win this tournament and when we did it felt like a huge bolder was lifted off our shoulders and we could relax and enjoy it.

I have done numerous interviews this year with Toronto Marlboros, I guess you guys are popular. Alex Fotinos which I quoted you in the story. There was Nicholas Ritchie and now yourself. Who is the next Marlie I should interview and why would you say him?


I think you should interview Bryson Cianfrone next he was a great captain and a great player. (Coming soon)

Following in your brothers footsteps, and even in that brothers footsteps. 5th overall by the Belleville Bulls. Were you not secretly wishing to be picked by another team. I mean you have spent so many years at the Yardmen already, do you really want to play in that arena for the bulls too? Lol

I didn’t really have much preference to where I wanted to play, I didn’t know where I was going to be picked so being picked by Belleville was a surprise to me. I have spent a lot of time at the yardmen but I never get bored of going to the rink.

I never got a chance to talk to Pernell Karl while he was a member of the Bulls, but I did get to watch him numerous times in the 07/08 season, and of course enjoy watching your brother Malcolm right now in goal for Belleville. What is one thing you have learned from both that you keep with you to this day. and no cheating has to be two different things.

One thing that I have learned from both my brothers is to always be humble and hungry to learn new thing and get better consistently.

In an phone interview with Malcolm last year I introduced him as 'Pernell Karl Subbans Younger Brother' and never made reference to his name Malcolm. We laugh about it now. If Malcolm is PK's younger brother, what do we call you?

Hahahaha you can call me the good looking one!

You are a very similar player to PK, a lot of comparisons to him. how do you take the comparisons to your oldest brother? would you prefer that they be to another offensive defenseman?

The sense that we both like to get involved in the offense, but P.K. is a lot bigger then I am so he is more physical and he doesn’t jump up as much as I do.

Back in the OHL Showcase for people getting their first look at you. Man did you love to rush with the puck, but you seemed hesitant to take it all the way, not all the time, but most. Is this a growing thing with you? confidence with the puck or was it just a style of play?

I love to rush the puck and have the puck a lot but I have to keep my teammates involved to, as the year went on I got better and better at this and I owe it to my coaching staff for really helping me on this.

and speaking of style of play, has there been discussions on what you need to improve on entering this season or something that you specifically want to improve on?


There is nothing I really focused on, getting stronger and in my defensive zone I may have paid more attention to but I’m only 16 and I want to work on developing all areas of my game.

Finally, you have the upper hand here Jordan, I am going to be interviewing your new Belleville Teammate Alex Carnevale right after you. any good gossip i can catch him off guard with?


Haha no nothing I can think of


If you love to watch defenceman go from end to end and make plays happen, then you are in luck. Jordan will deliver just that and create so many offensive chances for the Bulls with his style of play. Don't believe me, well just follow him on twitter (@Jordansubban) and ask him yourself. I am sure he will prove you wrong and also chirp you at the same time.

Cat Attack!!!

After about 2 weeks of waiting for the trade that a disgruntled Buffalo Sabres draft pick asked/demanded. It has finally happened. And to think, I was just about to post a 'where in the OHL will the Cat end up'. Well I guess those crazy theories will never see the light of day now.
But let's talk about the actual deal now shall we. All this time Soo GM Kyle Dubas has thrown around phrases like 'Fair Value', 'Equal Return' and 'The Right Deal'. after digesting what those three phrases mean... I have to say that the young Dubas missed the mark... And quite possible the target.
Now as many of my followers Twitter (@intheoradio) have pointed out... It is far to early to Eva,hate this trade. To a degree you are absolutely correct. A game has not been played this season, one or the other could be injured, have a breakout season etc. Here is where I disagree with that notion.
We live in the age of instant analysis... So let's play by these rules.


There is no doubt that Daniel Catenacci is a talented hockey player. Heck I compare him to Alexi Kovalev. Now you may instantly roll your eyes at that remark but it is true. A gifted and exceptionally skilled hockey player who at times will be lazy and unmotivated. Now do you get the comparisson. The fact that I high on D.C. Is no secret to many of you. He is a good kid, with a great family and many people close to him will tell you the same about how he approaches the game.
So The Soo GM after demanding an arm and a leg from Eastern Conference franchises (asked SBY for Sgarbossa) Kyle Dubas 'settles' for Andrew Fritsch and a 2nd round draft choice. Nothing against Andrew Fritsch but when you think of top end talent in the OHL how many people think of Andrew Fritsch? I will take a moment to count the hands...

And then to top it all off, Cat is traded to the Western Conference where there is now 'extra motivation' in the games. Not to mention if they meet in the playoffs. Can you see the headlines now? Cat burns hounds with 3 including OT winner in game 7. Ok maybe that is going to far... But it could happen. Not to mention the other way.
Owen Sound GM Dale DeGray won this deal today. He basically gave up a hard nosed 2nd-3rd line player for a top line centre. Can you argue with that's right now? No, you can not. That is why we live in the world of instant analysis.

When this trade happened I shook my head. OS made out like bandits like Sudbury did with Sgarbossa for McFarland. Heck Sudbury is still winning that deal. Truth be told it is too early to claim a winner and loser in this deal.

But. I go to bed Wednesday evening I am sure I will think the same Thursday morning, and even next Wednesday. How did Kyle Dubas mess this up?

Preseason Thoughts

As the days get shorter and September creeps even closer, the excitement for the upcoming hockey season builds even more. As it stands we are only 8 days from the opening of training camp and there are many questions that surround this Ranger squad before camp has even opened.

One of those questions is in net. The Rangers currently have 3 goalies on their roster, including last years backup Mike Morrison (Moe), newcomer from Kingston Frank Palazzese, as well as Anaheim draft pick and NCAA de-committer John Gibson. The question now is, which one of these three will be the starter, and which one will be on their way out of town?

At this point, the obvious option is for Moe to leave. He’s been with the Rangers for two seasons now as the backup and it’s time that he gets his shot as a number one goalie in the OHL. However, Ranger fans as well as coach/GM Steve Spott have been waiting for John Gibson to report since he was drafted in 2009. Now that he is finally here, it is likely that he will become the number one goalie, with Palazzese playing backup. In my opinion, Mike Morrison is a stellar goaltender who will make an impact with a team in the OHL this season. However that team will not be the Kitchener Rangers.

The second order of business surrounds almost every OHL team at this point in the season. Who will be team captain this year? There seems to be two obvious choices.

Michael Cattenaci is a guy who plays with a lot of heart and soul, and he likes to fire up his teammates. On the ice he gets in the face of his opponents and despite his short stature, never backs down. Entering his fourth season with the Rangers, his experience with the team will definitely be a major point for him to be team captain.

The second choice is, naturally, Ryan Murphy. Murph just finished an excellent sophomore season with the club, coming off a great rookie season prior to that. He was second only to Ryan Ellis of the Windsor Spitfires as top point scoring defense men in the league. Drafted 12th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes, Murphy will be looked up to by the rookies of this Ranger squad, and will be expected to show them what it takes to win in this league.

The final question for the team is who will fill the three overage spots on the roster. Currently on the Rangers website, there are seven 1991 born players. They include Cattenaci, along with Jonathon Jasper, Cody Sol, Julian Melchiori, Chad Lowry, Michael Hasson and Ryan Lopes. Only three of these players can remain with the team this season. I fully expect these to be Cattenaci, Jasper and Melchiori. There is a very good chance that Sol will be sent to St. John's to play for the Winnipeg Jets farm team in the AHL. Lowry, Hasson and Lopes did not have very strong seasons last year. Both Hasson and Lopes were traded here midway through last year, and both only played 3 games during the playoffs. If coach Spott didn't have enough faith to play them during the playoffs, they'll have to have a very strong camp to prove they belong. As for Lowry, he's only been an average player during his time on East Ave. I think a strong camp from him and a weak camp from Jasper could result in him returning, but I won't be holding my breath.

All in all it's going to be a very exciting season. Somewhat of a rebuilding season, but a talented team nonetheless. Here's to another exciting season of OHL hockey.

Interview with Peterborough Petes, Nicholas Ritchie


With an offensive showing at the OHL Showcase Cup it was still not enough for Nicholas Ritchie to be selected first overall in this year's OHL Priority Draft. But that doesn’t matter to the younger brother of Brett Ritchie, forward of the Sarnia Sting. Like many players it is an honour to be selected and have the opportunity to fight for playing time in the OHL. Nicholas has already signed his OHL contract with the Peterborough Petes who selected him 2nd overall and will take to the ice in a few short weeks for not only the exhibition but the 2011/12 OHL regular season in hopes of helping the Peterborough Petes get right back on track.

Nick firstly, thank you for taking the time for this interview. It isn't until the OHL Showcase Cup when players of your caliber really begin to shine. You get noticed at the tournament and the proverbial light shines brighter on you as the tournament progresses. Did you at all get spooked at the types of crowds that the Toronto Marlboros were
getting for the round robin and playoff games of the OHL Showcase Cup?

Yes there was a fair amount of people at our play-offs/OHL Cup games, but I was never got spooked by the size of the crowds because that is what I was expecting.

What about the type of people in the stands. With my naked eye you can spot all 20 OHL General Managers, Scouts and Players, NHL Management and Scouts and the infamous Don Cherry was there to not only watch you but your team as well. Did you or your teammates happen to catch these people in the stands and were there times when
teammates had to be say, 'calmed down' because of these eyeballs watching?

We definitely saw and new that these people were in the stands. Our team never worried about who was in the stands, and we just played hard and had fun.

The Marlboros win the OHL Showcase Cup; I have talked to your Goaltender Alex Fotinos and Jordan Subban about raising the Championship at the end of the weeklong tournament. Other than the actual Championship victory, what was a memorable moment for you that you know will stay with you over the course of the next few years?

Our entire Minor Midget team had a remarkable year. We were very a close-knit team with great team balance and coaching. I will remember our team accomplishments and all of the enjoyment we had for the next few years.

Taken by the Peterborough Petes number 2 overall. A lot of pressure gets put on those shoulders as the team is clearly looking to move upwards from last season. The Team is rolling over their lineup and you are a hard-nosed player who isn't afraid of much. Is there any type of fear that you must change your game, or learn something completely new that may take away from your natural ability on the ice?

I know that your first year in the OHL can be a challenge. My attitude going into training camp is to work as hard as I possibly can, and try to improve my game every day. I have never felt fear in any sport that I have played.
Obviously when people here the name Ritchie they instantly think of your brother Brett as he is fresh on the brain as a result of him being selected by the Dallas Stars. Since he is older he must have taught you something that has helped you get to where you are now.
What has been his biggest contribution to you growing as a person and a player?

Yes, my brother had been huge asset in my success in hockey. Brett is only two years older than me, and when we were younger I always played against him in anything we did. Playing against my older brother made it very difficult to beat him. The biggest contribution for me as a person and a player had been my brother and also my mother and father. My family has helped me and supported in anything I do.

There are 2 dates on the calendar have been circled in the Ritchie household I am sure. December 1st and December 11th. I am sure it is going to be the battle of every Ritchie for himself but what do you expect when you think about playing your brother?

I expect in these games to have a little bit of a weird feeling. I have never played against my brother in a real game before. It will be a very interesting and a fun two games that I am look forward to.

10 days separate those 2 games and then two weeks later it is Christmas? Even if the worse happens in the game do you think you could still sit next to your brother and sing Christmas carols or will the 'war' continue through the holiday season on say... NHL12?

Yes, I will definitely be able to sit beside my brother and sing carols after the games are completed. I am sure he will challenge me and I will challenge him. We are very close brothers that will be able to drop something that happened on the ice.

And lets end it on this Nick, Petes recently acquired Andrew Yogan, Alan Quine is returning, Slater Koekkoek is a stud on the blueline. Is there a Petes' player or two that you can’t wait to get on the ice with to make some 'magic' happen?

There are several very good players returning. I am looking forward to be able to play and learn from these players. I hope as a team we can all make magic.

Nicholas Ritchie, like many of the players interviewed through out the summer is on his personal mission to not only make his OHL team, but also be a dominant rookie on the team, and following the heels of Slater Koekkoek and Matt Puempel. The ‘rookie’ bar has been set very high for young Nick Ritchie. But if his showing at the OHL Showcase Cup is any indication, this 6’02” 210 pound 16 year old will be taking the league by storm this year.

Interview with 3rd Overall Selection, Soo Greyhounds, Darnell Nurse

Being selected second overall means 2 things: you are an incredibly talented player and the team that drafted you is going through a rebuild. This is the case with Darnell Nurse. The defenceman was taken by the Soo Greyhounds, the second worst team in the OHL during the 2010/11 campaign. Under new guidance by rookie GM Kyle Dubas, the Greyhounds have a completely new look to them and along with the youthful GM, a new swagger has come over the franchise. I was fortunate enough to talk to all 6'4" 180lbs of the young defenceman. The kid seems to have a great head on his shoulders and knows what is at stake with his young career in his hands.


Darnell let's go back to the OHL Showcase Cup to start, now obviously a heartbreaker there, dropping the finals to the Toronto Marlboros in that fashion. After the emotions and nerves all settled, maybe a few tears shed cuz hey, everyone cries sometimes. What did you learn about yourself that you can build on in that moment?

The loss in the OHL cup really just made me hate losing more. I wouldn't say I learned a lot from the loss, it just makes me more hungry for the upcoming season.

Don Mills obviously a gifted team, you can't plow through teams in the tournament like that without great players and depth. But there was one player who seemed to steal all the talks and that was Max Domi. Whether or not you believe he was the superstar of the team, was it a good thing for the rest of the guys on the team to be in that 'shadow' of Domi and all that went on regarding that circus?

Max Domi was a recognizable name on a team full of talent. He is a great player and was a great teammate. Contrary to what many believe there was always a positive attitude in the locker room.

And one more note about the flyers before moving on to the Soo, besides Domi, who on the Flyers team never received enough credit for their contributions to the team?

I think our coach Bob Marshall never got enough credit for the impact  he had on our team. Through his guidance our team was able to grow not only as players but also as people. There were many hard working players on the team that contributed in ways that did not show up on the score sheet.

I referenced Domi and that circus that went on but you were still taken well ahead of him. #2 overall to the soo greyhounds. What did you know about the franchise before being drafted by them and what were some of the misconceptions that you had that were proven false about this franchise

Through talking to a lot of people and visiting the Soo I learned about the tradition of the franchise. I also learned how much support the community gives the team.

Being taken number 2, an 'exceptional' player was taken ahead of you. You think this will be better for you because you do not have the label and pressures of a first overall selection?

I feel no greater pressure than the pressure I put on myself to succeed. I have always tried to block out others opinions and expectations, knowing that I expect far more of myself than anyone else. If I work my hardest, respect the process and remain humble then my dreams and goals are attainable.

A lot of young guys on this greyhounds team for 11/12 but there is some good veteran leadership as well. Who are you looking forward to playing and learning from this year.

I look forward to working with all the defencemen on the team. Being the youngest it is always nice to talk to guys with experience in the league.

To go along with the young team is of course a young 'inexperienced' GM in Kyle Dubas. Even though the team has not taken the ice under his leadership, he has gotten some great attention and pulled some crazy trades that at least on paper improve this club. Are you excited to be part of this new era not only for the Soo greyhounds but also the new 'philosophy' and 'energy' that will come from it?

Whenever there is change for the better and you are able to be apart of a team that's hungry for success, it's an exciting time.

Just two more for ya, let's talk about you a little bit. Strength, biggest weakness and what do the 'Hounds want you to work on most?

My biggest strength would definitely be my skating ability for someone my size. On the other hand, my biggest weakness would be my shot accuracy. I have been working on it all summer and it has come a long way.

Finally, This year you will be competing not only with some former teammates also drafted in to the OHL. But also some marlboros as well. Is it easy to be friends with these guys still, or are their certain games you may be looking forward to more than others.

I have always been the type of player who recognizes the difference between being on and off the ice. I will always have good friendships with guys I have battled and played against. There is no specific game I am looking forward to the most. I am just excited to get back on the ice and play in the OHL.

Like I said the kid is pretty bright and looks to be hungry to prove that the Barrie Colts made a mistake not making him the first overall selection. Make sure you keep checking out intheoradio.com for more interviews as we get closer to the start of the 2011/12 season. And continue to check out the webpage for the latest news and info and follow In The O on twitter at (@intheoradio).

Interview with 35th overall selection, Barrie Colts, Alex Fotinos

This week's entry is a bit late, but I did not want to steal the spotlight of Bradley Karp who submitted his first article to In The O... this week. and it is a beauty about Daniel Altshuller and the Belleville Bulls. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out here. But now... our regularly scheduled program.


This week's OHL Prospect Spotlight is on a Barrie Colt Goaltender Prospect. In fact he helped his team win the OHL Showcase Cup earlier this year. He is young Alex Fotinos. And as he comes into the league with a bit of a pedigree, he potentially enters the Colts organization as a target. And I call him a target because with all the potential bodies in the crease... this year could get messy. But as you will read, Alex is a very focused player who will be able to handle this type of 'problem' and will come out a better goalie in the process. Now normally I discuss with Thayne a bit about the player before getting to the interview. This week I am going straight into the interview. Here is Barrie Colts Goaltender prospect, Alex Fotinos.


First of all Alex, thanks for taking time out of lifting weights and protein shakes and other summer off season things you crazy kids do. Let's start in the middle of your journey thus far as it relates to the OHL. 35th overall by the Barrie Colts. You were just a few picks short of being a 1st round selection. In your mind, what is the difference between a 1st and 2nd rounder in the OHL Priority Draft?

Thank you Brandon for the interview and believe me, the breaks from training are greatly appreciated.  Personally, the difference between being picked 37th overall in the second round, compared to maybe 10th overall in the first round I think all depended on what team needed my abilities.  It might not have been that I wasn’t good enough to be selected in the first round but that there was not a team looking for what I have to offer as their first selection. I would have to say though, for me, there was no team I would rather to have been picked by than the Barrie Colts.

What was the initial reaction to finding out that you were selected by the Barrie colts?

Ecstatic.  The organization, for the most part, is a winning organization with terrific fan support, which I love. Also, to be taught by two former “NHLers”, the head coach being Dale Hawerchuk and the goalie coach Dan Cloutier, is really something that most “OHLers” don’t get to experience – unless you play for the Colts. As well, I will learn so much by having Dan as a goalie coach and being taught by someone who has been through the OHL and the NHL.

            No matter how you put it. 35th overall out of 300 is very impressive and definitely says something about your game and abilities. So let's break your game down now. What 'style' of play does Alex Fotinos use and what is your absolute strength?

Well, I try and stay in position and as technically sound as often as possible.  I think that my strength would be my technique.  That being said, there’s nothing I won’t do to stop a puck.  Battling and fighting for every rebound I would say is also an important part in my game. I really admire Tim Thomas from that perspective. He’s a goalie who will do his best to stay in position, but at the end of the day, do whatever it takes to stop the puck.

From time to time I do a little research and this time I spoke with a former Toronto Marlboros teammate of yours, Mr. 5th overall, Jordan Subban. I basically asked what he loves to hate about ya and he said 'I loved playing with Alex. He communicated really well with our team especially our defense. It made my job a lot easier having a goalie that could communicate with me while I was coming back to retrieve the puck.' So basically you yell a lot. Where did you pick up the yelling and was it easy for your teammates to put up with it?

Subby’s a great teammate and it’ll be tough seeing him go end to end against me and having to stop him.  Plus, I had to keep up with his yelling in the dressing room by yelling on the ice.  I try to communicate with my players as much as possible for a couple of reasons.  First, as Jordan said, letting them know where the pressure is and what is going on behind them when their head is turned is beneficial for the whole team.  Also, I find, when I am yelling and communicating that I am more focused and into the game.  Even when the play is at the other end, if I am yelling and aware of what is happening it keeps me focused all the time.

Now heading back to the past and The Toronto marlboros, the 2011 OHL Showcase Cup Champions! Has a nice ring to it doesn't it. I'm sure you have told the story of the finals many times now. But if you wouldn't mind indulging the audience in another recap of how the Marlboros were able to become champions and of course... Comment on why you were the star of the show lol.

I couldn’t say I myself was the star of the show.  As a team, the Marlboros were too tough to handle.  I don’t think I have ever played with a group of guys that connected as well as we did.  Also, through our tremendous coaching staff led by Ken Strong we didn’t play for ourselves but for each other and I just don’t think there was any other team in North America that wanted to win like we did.

In talking about the teams and the super stars like Jordan, Nicholas. Bryson and the like. It is very easy to get forget the amazing depth you guys had. Who from that team does not get as much credit as they deserve and that includes yourself.

I agree, those three superstars overshadowed most guys on our team.  However, everyone on our team worked their tail off and did what they were told.  Very few people I know play with as much passion as Peterborough’s draft pick Cody Thompson. Night in and out, he would be battling and driving hard to the net.  A similar player is Sudbury’s draft pick Michael Sands.  Another workhorse and great guy who battles hard and will definitely go far.  Although those were just two I could say something about every player on my team.

Barrie Colt rookie camp has taken place and I have gotten mixed reviews. Some have said you stood out. Others say Alex who? Which one was that. How pleased were you and how pleased were the colts with your performance during the weekend?

I felt good about my rookie camp. Though, I think it was a little difficult to showcase my talents in a two-hour scrimmage.  I’ve been training hard and look forward to making my name for myself come training camp.

What would you have done different in the camp?
Can’t say I would have done anything differently. I think I did well.

As I said at the beginning the off season is the time for crazy diets and gym time and of course. Cottage and tanning. What are you doing right now in terms of gym and diet and does it ever get easier?

Nope can’t say it gets any easier, only harder from here on out.  First year that I had to pass on the family vacation.  I’ve been training with my trainer at the gym five times a week and have been on ice three times a week. As well as some weekly on ice camps, it has been a busy summer!

Being drafted by a young team like the colts. Your OHL Future could be sooner than later. It is a young team that seem to have made 2 of their goalies expendable, either Windsor or Chartrand will remain, have you put any type of thought into how all that can work out and you could be a 16 year old back up?

No, I can’t focus on the other components that are apart of the game.  I have just been focusing on improving my game and the rest will fall into place accordingly.

Alex, let's end on a more upbeat note. Twitter.com/alexfotinos1 is how Colts nation can follow you now and throughout the season. Whether it is with the Barrie colts or a Jr. A team. There are a lot of OHLers who use twitter as a way to communicate with the fans. Others rarely use. And some just have a blast. Where do you fall in those type of twitter user categories?

I think it is important to interact with the fans and being apart of the Barrie community.  As long as tweeting doesn’t effect how I play, then I’ll be updating it often.

Can we expect some typical OHL type tweets about JS, #Driveat5 and @Tswift or are you gonna bring something new to the Twitter Table?

I think after this long Marlie season with a lot of locker room tunes, unless TSwift comes out with a new hit, I will hopefully be bringing out something new to the table.  Maybe some of that good ole’ country music!

Thank you very much to Alex Fotinos for donating his time for this interview. Remember you can follow him on twitter at (@alexfotinos1). I am sure he will appreciate the follows and also be happy to answer any Questions you may have. Don't forget to follow In The O... for more on OHL prospects and other news around the OHL. Website is www.intheoradio.com and follow ITO on twitter @intheoradio

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.



Interview with "The Fourth Periods' Dustin Leed, Philadelphia Correspondent

When you want the best insight into a teams OHL prospects, you go to the best you can find. It didn't take me long but I found him. Dustin Leed, Philadelphia Correspondent to The Fourth Period. He was frantically tweeting away during the Flyers prospect camp where current and former OHLers are having a go at trying to make the Philly Roster and Dustin was in the middle of the action. I do have to say, he didn't really catch my attention until the Zac Rinaldo tweets started to occur. Interesting insight to Rinaldo now that he is a full season removed from the OHL after his 'controversial' ending in the league. Has Rinaldo turned the corner in his career? will Jason Akeson light it up like he did in Kitchener? What really happened to OHL Alums Jeff Carter and Mike Richards to earn them a one way ticket out of town? Well I asked Dustin and here is his response:

Brandon Sudeyko: First of all Dustin, let me thank you for sharing your professional opinion with me and the OHL fans out there. I know a lot of them like and hate this time of year because it is a long time until meaningful hockey, but you do get to see the young guns of the game at these camps and relieve some hockey withdrawal. first of all, heading into a pro camp, infront of the brass that drafted or invited these kids, what do you believe the Philidelphia Flyers are looking for in these players?
Dustin Leed: I've always been told by players that developmental camp is for the guys to learn as much as they can from the hands on approach by the coaching staff at these camps and there isn't much competition at them. So I think the Flyers evaluate who's got some of the better skill at these camps - no one is trying to earn a roster spot at these camps but they're still trying to impress and show their development as a player.

BS: Just to go backwards a bit, before looking completely forward. Richards and Carter. they still have deep roots to the Kitchener Ranger and Soo Greyhounds fans respectfully, and many are still scratching their head as to why. many theories out there, which one do you subscribe to?

DL: I think the Richards and Carter deals helped this organization out as a whole. They got a lot younger, got some prospects back in their system and were able to get some guys who fit Peter Laviolette's high octane system very well. These deals allowed them to get bigger on the wing and bring in some true right wing position players and also give a bigger role to James van Riemsdyk and Claude Giroux. Also, there has been a lot made of off-ice issues between the two and that may had something to do with it, but the Flyers will tell you it didn't.

BS: Historically, and by that I mean since 2003, the Flyers are near the bottom of the league, in terms of drafting from the OHL, is there a possible theory as to why? when it appears the 29 other teams in the NHL will take at least 1 per draft.

DL: They have some real good connections in the QMJHL and some of the best scouts in that league, so I think that is where they're most comfortable drafting out of. I think another reason why they're near the bottom is because the OHL talent in draft classes is usually at the top and the Flyers are generally picking later in the rounds. Also, they haven't had too many first round picks since 2003.

BS: 9 players since 2003 drafted to the Flyers, with ties to the OHL (Pat Maroon drafted out of USHL, played in London once drafted). Three out of the 2011 draft and only 2 other players still in the PHI organization at some level (Eric Wellwood & Zac Rinaldo). Any rhyme or reason as to why they just do not work out?

DL: No real answer as to why they don't pan out other than I think they could use some better scouting of the OHL. Perhaps that's why they don't make many draft selections.

BS: Looking at the 3 players from the OHL, just drafted, Nick Cousins (SSM), Colin Sullentrop (OSH) and Derek Mathers (PBO) what do these guys have, that could keep them in the good graces of the Flyers organization?

DL:Nick Cousins was the most impressive at camp. He is still pretty raw but definitely played with smarts and some aggression. He had a good shot and could skate pretty well. I think Colin Suellentrop was impressive for a stay-at-home defenseman as well. He was very sound positionally and seemed to have some mobility for a tough, physical d-man. Derek Mathers is a great team guy and will never back down from a challenge. He's got some skills, too, and plays a smart game. All of these guys are tough and gritty and that's what the Flyers love.

BS: What about the likes of Jason Akeson, I mentioned how Mike Richards still holds a spot in Rangers fans hearts, and for the last 4 years, Akeson has done the same. Many would love to see him work his magic on the big stage, is that a possibility for him this upcoming season?

DL: Jason Akeson will be in the American Hockey League this coming season which will be a good fit for him. He's uber-skilled but he must get stronger. He's done growing but he can still add on some muscle in a professional organization. He's got great hands, good instincts, but for his age, he needs to get stronger. Once he makes it to Adirondack, anything is possible, but I think there are a handful of players with a better shot to see the Flyers this season.

BS: I don't think even I can put this nicely as to the point of not offending. Since camp opened you have been a supporter of the "NEW" Zac Rinaldo. The same Zac Rinaldo who has had multiple suspensions not only at the OHL level, but at the AHL level this year as well. I can put him into the same boat as Steve Downie once was, a hot head with some good talent that if his head was on straight would be one of those great 'Avery-like' players. Hate to play against him, but love to have him on my team. I promise I will get to the Question soon, After the last two seasons that he had, is this truly a new Zac Rinaldo, or is this just a kid who realizes his window is getting smaller?

DL: Haha. Love the Zac Rinaldo questions. I've talked to numerous people in the Flyers organization including Peter Laviolette and all of these guys rave about Rinaldo. His role is an agitator, and there is no confusing that, but he has skill to go with it. He can skate, has good hands, he just has to learn that he is a better player than what he think he is. He will be a Flyer some point soon, the orgnaization is very high on him. Here's what Flyers director of hockey operation Chris Pryor told me : "He can play the game more than people give him credit for. I think if people take a step back and actually see him play. He can do that, which tells you about the kid."

BS: A follow up on the Rinaldo question being, should the gen public, the flyers fans and what ever Rinaldo OHL Fans still exist give him this opportunity of change, or should we be cautious and play wait and see. referencing Downie again, once he was in Tampa, a different player showed up and he is as effective as everyone thought he could.

DL: Give Rinaldo a chance. He's been working on his skill. He isn't going to change the player he is, but wait to judge him under Peter Laviolette.

BS: Final one for you, if you could make a depth chart based on OHL prospect talent in camp, what would it look like? (Akeson, Brown, Cousins, Mathers, Pither, Rinaldo, Wellwood, Hostetter, Sullentrop) (side bar: looking at talent no older than a '90 birthday)

DL: Rinaldo, Wellwood, Hostetter, Akeson, Pither, Cousins, Suellentrop, Mathers, Brown.


Like I said, when you want the best insight on a rookie camp, you have to go to the best. Dustin Leed can be reached by his twitter account (@D_LEED) and you can find more of his work on The Fourth Period under the Philadelphia Flyers section. Thanks again to Dustin for contributing your time and opinions.

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