Photo credit:Ontario Hockey League
Canucks assign prospect Josh Bloom to the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit
1 month ago
The Vancouver Canucks have assigned forward prospect Josh Bloom to the Saginaw Spirit of the OHL.
Bloom, 20, appeared in 14 games with the Abbotsford Canucks and eight games with the Kalamazoo Wings of the ECHL, where he posted a combined three assists between the two leagues.
The Canucks acquired Bloom last February in a trade that sent struggling defenceman Riley Stillman the other way to the Buffalo Sabres.
Truthfully, Bloom had failed to adapt to the rigours of AHL hockey. Deployed primarily in a bottom-six role, the Abbotsford Canucks were outscored 7 to 3 at 5-on-5 with Bloom on the ice.
Though his time in Abbotsford was brief, Bloom showed promise with his work on the forecheck to force turnovers, draw penalties, and the usual positives from the active skating of an “energy player.”
As the season went along, Bloom’s ability to provide consistent energy for the team waned, and the holes in his game began to show. Like most junior players making the hop to pro, Bloom showed a propensity for skating himself into trouble when carrying the puck through neutral territory. On one such occasion, he collided with Linus Karlsson while leading a zone entry, giving the San Diego Gulls a rush chance the other way.
Bloom initially played 14 of Abbotsford’s first 21 games of the season, missing seven as a healthy scratch before being re-assigned to the Kalamazoo Wings, where he’d go on to muster two assists and 11 shots on goal over eight games. During that stretch in the ECHL, the KWings were outscored 5 to 2 with Bloom on the ice at 5-on-5.
Bloom briefly featured on Abbotsford’s power play and penalty kill, albeit in limited deployment over those first 14 games. While in Kalamazoo, Bloom featured on the penalty kill pretty often, during which the KWings conceded only two goals.
Bloom has burned one year off of his ELC but will have two years left to grow with the Canucks’ development program. The early returns in Abbotsford show that there is still hope he can become a quality bottom-six fixture on the farm. He will need to take steps this upcoming offseason toward adding another step to his skating while adding some heft to his lean 6’2″, 183-pound frame.
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