Josh Bloom

It has been a heck of a week for Vancouver Canucks prospect Josh Bloom.

Hell, it has been a heck of a season for the 20-year-old, 6’2” winger.

If we are being fully transparent, it’s been a heck of a few years.

Traded to the Canucks back in February of 2023, Bloom is a transplant prospect who was selected 95th overall by the Buffalo Sabres in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.

Bloom began the 2023-24 season with the Abbotsford Canucks and made it into 14 AHL games before being sent down to the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL and then coming to the decision, with the help of Abbotsford Canucks General Manager Ryan Johnson, to head back to the OHL and join the Saginaw Spirit for what would be Bloom’s fifth year with the OHL organization.

Through the trials and tribulations, Bloom feels like he is more connected to the Canucks’ organization, and going back to junior allowed him to fight for the Memorial Cup.

And fight he did, as the Spirit won their first-ever Memorial Cup and did it on home ice while Bloom was the scorer of the game-winning goal.

Bloom believed in himself and his teammates and the fact that his team was able to beat the team that knocked them out of the OHL playoffs made the Memorial Cup victory even sweeter. 

“There was never a doubt in our group,” said Bloom. “That was the matchup we wanted from the start. We wanted to see London. We wanted to take a trophy from them just like they took a trophy from us. It's storybook stuff and you couldn't write a script any better.” 

Going back to the OHL after making the AHL roster out of training camp would be hard on many 20-year-olds who were in Bloom’s position. But he looks at this season as an extremely beneficial year for his development as he was able to experience the life of a pro hockey player and then return to Junior and get the opportunities to be a leader. 

“It was another step in the direction I want to go,” said Bloom about the 2023-24 season. “I wanted to get better, and we felt that was the right decision for me. They wanted me to take what I've learned in pro and implement those things into the Junior game, and I felt like I went about this year the right way. A lot of times, guys can get down on themselves for being sent down, but I looked at it as another year to get better and get ready for pro. I know pro hockey is not going anywhere anytime soon.” 

Bloom had great conversations with Ryan Johnson throughout the season and the pair felt it was best for Bloom to continue to add to his game and be able to show what he has improved on in September of 2024.

Though he was back in the OHL, Bloom took the mentality of a pro with him. He learned a lot about the day-to-day accomplishments that you need to achieve to be a solid pro. It was a momentous year of maturing for Bloom as he progressed at working out, practicing, eating right, sleeping or just maintaining your mind in a sound place. 

In terms of overall improvements on the ice, Bloom felt confident in continuing to hammer home his work on the defensive side of the ice and spoke about his time in the AHL being a learning lesson for where he needs to be better in the defensive zone. 

As for the offensive side of the game, Bloom was given much more opportunity in the OHL and took advantage of being a player on the ice late in games, on both special teams' units while also being a top-line winger. He finished the OHL season with 17 goals and 23 assists for 40 points in 34 games.

“I thought this year was the perfect segue for me,” said Bloom. “I was able to get a sniff of pro, come back to Junior and implement those things you learned in pro and now I am taking the full step to pro next year. I am really looking forward to it.”

Now, as Bloom prepares for a full season of pro hockey, he approaches his offseason with even more focus than he did last year. The summer of 2023 was a chance for Bloom to prepare for pro, but he was still only a part of the Canucks’ organization since February of 2023.

“I felt like I didn’t jump into the water full-on, I was kind of just tiptoeing around it in my first year with the Vancouver organization,” said Bloom. “Now that I’m comfortable and I’ve been around the Canucks’ organization for a year, I’m really looking forward to jumping in with both feet and taking full advantage of all the opportunities that I get.”

“I’m excited for development camp, young stars, and the fall. Vancouver’s development is second to none and I’m really excited for all those events through the summer and into the fall.”

As a two-way winger who knows his way around the net, Bloom is looking to fit into a role with the Abbotsford Canucks next season where he can use his biggest asset, his skating to his advantage. Bloom was one of the most dynamic penalty killers in the OHL over the past few seasons and will continue to focus on the defensive side of the game and being hard to play against as he makes the full-time jump to the AHL and does not look back.

Insider Extra

We asked Josh Bloom a couple of questions about the Memorial Cup celebration and wanted to share them at the end of this article.

What was going through your brain when you lifted the trophy?

“I tried to find my parents, to be honest. I wanted to spend that moment with them. It was surreal. Once I got that trophy handed to me, it felt light as a feather. I threw it over my head and all the relief just came out. It was such an emotional night, such a special night and one that we will never forget. I remember scoring that goal and then all the lights shut off and I don't remember anything. It is pretty surreal, the relationships that we're going to have for the rest of our lives. We are Memorial Cup Champions baby, it's awesome.”

Was there a coach, or staff member who raised the cup and made you feel emotional?

“I was wiping tears away when my head coach Chris Lazary raised the trophy over his head. That man has been through so much and fought so hard to get where he is and the relationship we've built over these last five years is amazing. We've been through good times, we've been through bad times, and to watch him to go from a Junior B head coach and work his way all the way up to an assistant in Sarnia, finally becoming an assistant in Saginaw, then thinking he was going to get fired and then named head coach, it's just such a special moment for him. To get to watch him raise that trophy over his head and know that forever he's going to be a champion, is truly incredible. I definitely got emotional.”