Category Archives: OHL News

Canucks Prospect Josh Bloom Shines in Memorial Cup, Leading Saginaw Spirit to First Championship

Josh Bloom, a standout prospect for the Vancouver Canucks, has made headlines by scoring a late, game-winning goal to lead the Saginaw Spirit to their first Memorial Cup Championship. Acquired by the Canucks on February 27, 2023, from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for defenseman Riley Stillman, Bloom has quickly proven his worth. At just 19 years old, the young forward showed immense potential and has now cemented his name in Saginaw Spirit history.

A Promising Acquisition

When Patrick Allvin, the Canucks’ general manager, secured Bloom, he knew he was getting a player with significant upside. Bloom’s performance this season has justified that excitement. Splitting his time between the Saginaw Spirit and the North Bay Battalion in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), Bloom has racked up an impressive 58 points (26 goals, 32 assists) in 59 games. His discipline and impact on the ice are further highlighted by his 44 penalty minutes and a +9 plus-minus rating.

Since joining the Battalion on November 16, Bloom has maintained a point-per-game pace, recording 42 points (19 goals, 23 assists) in 40 games. His prowess on special teams has been noteworthy, with 18 power-play points (8 goals, 10 assists) and a league-leading four shorthanded goals.

Josh Bloom: Leadership and Skill

Bloom’s leadership qualities have been evident throughout his junior career. This season, he started as the 22nd captain in Saginaw Spirit history, following a stint as an alternate captain last season. His scoring ability was a significant asset for the Spirit last season (2021-22), where he ranked second in overall scoring with 61 points (30 goals, 31 assists) in 67 games, tying the franchise record for most shorthanded goals in a single season with seven.

The Memorial Cup Hero, Josh Bloom

In the Memorial Cup Championship, Bloom’s heroics were on full display. Positioned perfectly at the London Knights’ doorstep, Bloom managed to jam the puck past the opposing netminder, securing the Spirit’s first-ever Memorial Cup Championship. His reaction post-game was one of pure elation. “There are no words right now. That’s probably the biggest goal of my career,” Bloom remarked.

The London Knights, who finished the OHL regular season with a higher point total than the Spirit, met Saginaw in the conference finals and triumphed in a tough 4-2 series. This time, however, it was Bloom and his teammates who prevailed. “Having our hearts ripped out of our chest and smashed into a million pieces, we found a way to put it back together, and now we’re champs,” Bloom reflected on the emotional journey.

A Standout Performance by Josh Bloom

Bloom’s impact in the championship game extended beyond his game-winning goal. He tallied two assists earlier in the match, contributing significantly to the Spirit’s offense. His first assist came midway through the opening period, leading to a goal by Montreal Canadiens prospect Owen Beck. The duo connected again with less than a minute left in the first period, with Bloom setting up Beck for a rocket shot that doubled their lead.

Despite the Spirit’s 3-0 lead at the midway point, the Knights clawed back, tying the game in the final 10 minutes. Bloom’s clutch performance in the dying moments, scoring the decisive goal, underscored his ability to deliver under pressure and highlighted his significance to the team’s success.

Future Prospects

As a 20-year-old, Bloom will age out of junior hockey and turn professional for the second time in his career. He started the 2023-24 season with the Abbotsford Canucks but struggled to secure regular ice time, leading to his loan back to the Saginaw Spirit. Bloom’s journey in junior hockey, especially his leadership as a former captain, will serve him well as he transitions to the professional ranks.

Bloom’s next challenge will be attending the Canucks’ training camp in the fall. With a new coaching regime in Abbotsford, he will aim to earn a roster spot and make a significant impact. His recent success at the Memorial Cup positions him as a promising candidate for the Abbotsford Canucks and potentially the Vancouver Canucks in the future.

What Does This Mean for the Canucks?

Bloom’s performance in the Memorial Cup Championship suggests that the Canucks have a highly capable and clutch player in their pipeline. His ability to perform under pressure, coupled with his scoring touch and leadership qualities, makes him a valuable asset. While it remains to be seen if he will secure a roster spot with the Canucks or their AHL affiliate in Abbotsford, his trajectory is promising.

Bloom’s development will be crucial for the Canucks’ future. His performance at the junior level, especially in high-stakes games like the Memorial Cup, demonstrates his potential to contribute at higher levels of competition. The Canucks’ management and coaching staff will undoubtedly keep a close eye on his progress as he transitions to professional hockey.

Josh Bloom and the Fan Perspective

As Canucks fans, we have much to look forward to with Josh Bloom. His journey from junior hockey to the professional ranks will be an exciting one to follow. Bloom’s ability to rise to the occasion in critical moments is something that every fan can appreciate. His recent success adds depth to the Canucks’ prospect pool and brings hope for the future.

What do you think, Canucks fans? Does Josh Bloom’s performance in the Memorial Cup make you optimistic about his future with the Canucks? Could he be the next big thing for our team? Share your thoughts and let’s keep the conversation going.

Go Canucks Go!