Adam Bloski pictured on the left.
The Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League has been a proven training ground for those wishing to take the game of hockey to the next level.
Countless players have moved on to the major junior or collegiate levels with several even going a step further and establishing themselves as solid professionals. Numerous coaches have done the same, but what about officials?
Adam Bloski says if it weren’t for the SJHL he wouldn’t be as close to achieving his dream of someday working in the National Hockey League as he presently is.
“The SJHL is a great developmental league,” says the 27-year-old from Saskatoon. “You never know what is going to happen on any given night and that helps you be a better official.”
When Bloski was playing the game at the midget level he was at a crossroads. He realized his skills as a player weren’t good enough to go much further, but with the prodding of his father Derek, who was a veteran referee in the Western Hockey League, he decided to see the game from the other side.
By the time he was 19 years old he was working SJHL games in addition to being called upon to don the stripes for games at several other levels. His work in the Saskatchewan Midget AAA Hockey League got recognized in 2014 when that league acknowledged him as the official of the year and over the years he worked a pair of Royal Bank Cups and one World Junior “A” Challenge.
Those experiences helped Bloski move up to the WHL where over the past several years he has been given assignments to work a CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game in addition to a pair of Super Series matches.
This year has seen him take his career a step further as he is now a full-time official working 40 per cent of the time in the American Hockey League with the balance being in the WHL.
“It’s pretty awesome, but the travel catches up to you,” says Bloski, who still uses Saskatoon as his home base. “I’ve already been to Hartford, Springfield and Colorado a couple times and soon I will be heading to the Chicago area.”
The SJHL was a springboard for his current success, but Bloski has simple words for those who wish to make officiating a career.
“You have to be coachable and come to the rink with a positive attitude,” says Bloski.