Geekie hoping to follow brother’s footsteps to NHL ahead of 2022 Draft

The 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft will be held July 7-8 at Bell Center in Montreal. The first round will be July 7 (7 pm ET; ESPN, ESPN +, SN, TVAS) and rounds 2-7 are July 8 (11 am ET; NHLN, ESPN +, SN, TVAS). NHL.com is counting down to the draft with in-depth profiles on top prospects, podcasts and other features. Today, a look at center Conor Geekie with Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League. NHL.com’s full draft coverage can be found here.

Conor Geekie might just be the best athlete of the three Geekie siblings – and that’s a big statement.

Morgan Geekie, a 23-year-old forward with the Seattle Kraken, is the oldest. Noah Geekie is 21 and, despite being chosen in the second round (No. 41) by the Calgary Hitmen in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, made the decision when he was 17 to play baseball instead of hockey.

Then there’s 18-year-old Conor, the youngest but likely the strongest.

“I would definitely say he has the most skill out of all three of us,” Noah said. “He definitely has a lot of talent, puts in a lot of work, and that size definitely helps him. I mean, he’s 6-foot-3 without skates, and his reach is insane.”

Noah just completed his junior season at Emporia State University, a Division II school in Kansas, and ranked third on the team in batting average (.318) in 2022.

Morgan, selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the third round (No. 67) in the 2017 NHL Draft, was acquired by Seattle in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft and had 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 73 games this season.

“Morgan was never really given anything hockey-wise growing up and had to work hard for everything he’s achieved,” Conor said. “He was a late draft pick and I think a lot of the things that he does, and what I take most, is the person he is outside of the rink, how humble and hard-working he is.”

Conor is a projected first-round pick in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft. The 18-year-old center (6-foot-3, 190 pounds), No. 5 in NHL Central Scouting’s final ranking of North American skaters, had 70 points (24 goals, 46 assists) in 63 regular-season games with Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League. He was fourth on the team with an average of 1.11 points per game and had 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 15 WHL playoff games.

“We would never take it easy on him just because he’s a young kid,” Noah said. “We would always go hard on him. And even now, when we go home during break, we still play against each other and it’s a lot of fun. He’s definitely gained a lot of skill and I feel like he’s going to gain even more once he fully grows into his body.

“I do not mean to brag or anything, but we played over Christmas break the past two years, 1-on-1, me against Conor, and I beat him both times on the ice. I still got it.”

Conor smiled when reminded of Noah’s dominance against him.

“I think Noah was kind of like me and Morgan in a way, but I’m the risk taker, the outgoing one,” Conor said. “Morgan’s got the good shot, the good vision. Noah was the complete player, the in-between of me and Morgan. I think a good player comparison to me would be Leon Draisaitl (Edmonton Oilers). Obviously I’m not as good as he was in junior, but I think the vision, and he’s got a really good shot that people overlook. “

The Geekie’s grew up in the small town of Strathclair, Manitoba, and practiced and played whenever given the chance.

“I think there’s about 137 people in the town,” Conor said. “The municipality’s got quite a bit more; about 700. I was lucky enough to have a key to the rink in town (Strathclair Community Rink) since my dad was part of the board. It wasn’t the nicest rink; there’s probably some “cattle in there right now. But I think that almost made me better. The creativity going out there with Morgan and Noah, just playing shinny with my buddies. It was probably three blocks away, so definitely very fortunate.”

James Patrick, in his fifth season as Winnipeg coach, said growing up in a sports-oriented family was exactly what Conor needed in preparation for the player he’s become.

“He’s the third boy with two older brothers, so that younger brother maybe idolizes his older brothers, who are good athletes, but he also wants his own attention,” Patrick said. “I do think he is a prototypical big center. A big center that NHL teams will like.”

Patrick, selected by the New York Rangers with the No. 9 pick in the 1981 NHL Draft, played for the Rangers, Hartford Whalers, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabers in a 21-season NHL career that ended in 2003-04. He said Conor, a left-handed shot, has plenty of upside.

“I think his skating is good and will keep getting better as he gets stronger and he puts in the work,” Patrick said. “There are times he looks like he’s lumbering out there, and then there’s a loose puck and somehow he gets a step on the defenseman, takes it to the net and makes a real good play.”

John Williams of NHL Central Scouting sees a little of Florida Panthers center Joe Thornton in the way Geekie gets around on the ice.

“He’s a young 18-year-old in terms of his physical development and he’s a big kid so there are some nights when the legs are a little bit heavy, but I worked in junior hockey with Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League and we drafted Joe Thornton (No. 2, 1995 OHL draft), who had a similar skating style at that age, “Williams said. “For Conor, it’s just a matter of time as he adds some weight [and] strength to his game.

“At the end of the day, when he’s 21 or 22, this guy is going to be a big-time player.”

Photo Credits: Zachary Peters, Winnipeg (WHL); Stephen Coleman, Emporia State Athletics (NCAA)

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