2006-07: As Jonathon Blum and his Vancouver Giants basked in the glow of their Memorial Cup championship, the dependable rearguard's stock rose measurably. Playing behind such stalwarts as Mark Fistric (DAL), Brett Festerling, Brendan Mikkelson (ANA), Paul Albers (MIN) and Cody Franson last season, Blum had plenty of veteran role models to rely on. This season, the demands on Blum have been increased and he has wholeheartedly answered the call. Blum tallied eight goals and 43 assists in the full complement of 72 league games and led the WHL with a plus-37 ranking.
2007-08: Entering his third season with the Vancouver Giants (WHL), big things were expected from the high scoring defenseman, and he delivered. He nearly scored a point a game, putting up 63 points (18g+45a) in 64 games and finishing at +27 on the season. The blueliner scored three goals and four assists in 10 playoff games on the way to earning WHL West Second All-Star Team honors.
2008-09: Blum appeared in 51 games as captain for the Vancouver Giants in his final junior season, scoring 16 goals and 50 assists for 66 points. In 17 playoff matches, the smooth-skating blueliner added 7 goals and 11 assists for 18 points. He was awarded the CHL Defenseman of the Year award, the Bill Hunter Trophy as the WHL's top defenseman, and First All-Star Team honors from the CHL and WHL. Blum also helped the USA's U20 team to a fifth place finish at the World Junior Championships, where he served as captain and scored 2 goals, 2 assists in 6 games.
2009-10: In his rookie season, Blum was the only Milwaukee Admirals player to appear in all 80 games. He finished with 11 goals and 30 assists for 41 points on the year, finishing fourth on the team in scoring. Blum also scored 1 goal and 7 assists in 7 playoff games for the Admirals.
2010-11: Blum made his NHL debut with the Predators in February 2011, appearing in 23 games, and played in a top-four role for Nashville in the playoffs. The offensive defensemen was +8 with 3 goals and 5 assists during the regular season. In the playoffs he averaged just under 19 minutes of ice-time per game and was +2 with 2 assists; skating in all 12 games. Blum played 54 games with AHL Milwaukee prior to being called up and played in one playoff game with the Admirals after Nashville's season ended. He scored 7 goals with 27 assists and was +7 with 20 PMs for Milwaukee; five of his seven goals coming on the power play.
2011-12: Blum spent the first half of the season with the Predators before being returned to AHL Milwaukee in January when veterans Shea Weber and Kevin Klein returned to the Nashville lineup. He scored 3 goals with 4 assists in 33 games but was minus-14 with 6 penalty minutes. He was with the Predators during the playoffs but did not appear in any games. In 48 games with Milwaukee he scored 4 goals with 22 assists and was minus-11 with 36 penalty minutes. The Admirals finished second in the North Division. Blum had 1 assist and was minus-four with 4 penalty minutes in the three playoff games against Abbotsford. Blum signed a one-year, two-way contract with Nashville in September 2012.
Blum demonstrates outstanding mobility and often takes the initiative to carry the puck up ice. What makes Blum so good is his explosive skating ability. Because he is not very large, he uses technique and a good poke-check to wrestle the puck away from opponents. He has amazing ice presence and is very rarely caught out of position, a key aspect of being an NHL defenseman.
Blum will start the season at the AHL level in Milwaukee with the NHL lockout still not settled. The offensively skilled defender needs to show that last season's struggles were just a bad year and that he has regained his confidence. He should get the opportunity to play in the NHL if the first round pick can get off to a good start with the Admirals.