With the 11th pick of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Arizona Coyotes have selected Conor Geekie from the Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League (WHL)
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Tracker
About Conor Geekie
The Arizona Coyotes are getting a very promising talent in Conor Geekie, who possesses the size and offensive upside to make an impact at the NHL level. In 63 games with the Winnipeg Ice this season, he recorded 24 goals and 70 points, while making excellent strides in his development. A massive body at 6-foot-4 and over 200 pounds, the younger brother of Morgan Geekie is sure to be a name you hear talked about often in the near future.
Related: 2022 NHL Draft Guide
Adding to his intimidating size and strength, Geekie has tremendous stick handling and an excellent shot, making him a threat offensively. When he doesn’t have the puck on his stick, he’s battling in corners and using his frame to gain the inside track and separate opposing players from possession.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Geekie possesses one of the most unique skillsets in the 2022 NHL Draft. Few players combine his size and an elite offensive toolset like him. He is a dual-threat, able to beat you with elite playmaking and a fantastic shot, all while possessing the high-end hockey IQ needed to effectively use these skills. On a Winnipeg Ice team that features another 2022 first-round projected player in Matthew Savoie, and a 2021 first-round pick in Carson Lambos, Geekie still stands out because of his high-end talent.
“As a lock to go in the first round, it is still unclear where Geekie will be drafted in July. Currently, on pace for 73 points in 66 games this season, he’s fourth in points among players under-18 in the Western Hockey League (WHL), and that offensive upside could see him drafted in the top-10. However, there are legitimate concerns about other areas of his game, which could see him land outside of the top-20.
“The big-bodied center uses his massive frame extremely well, his puck protection is magnificent, and he routinely wins puck battles down low and along the boards before turning and creating offense. He possesses some of the best hockey IQ in the draft and is routinely the smartest player on the ice. His fantastic hands and vision allow him to be a great playmaker who can quarterback a power play from the half-wall. He has a hard shot with a quick release but needs to work on his accuracy as he routinely misses the net.
“Geekie likes to push the pace of play, creating a lot of high-danger shooting chances for him and his teammates. The tendency to force the puck into high-danger areas makes him an offensive weapon but can be a negative at times. He can get caught trying to force a play that isn’t there, leading to a costly turnover, which can make him wasteful at times. While his creativity and risk-taking help him generate offense, he could benefit from simplifying his game. Defensively, he’s an intelligent player who gets himself into good position and has an active stick.
“Most of Geekie’s issues stem from his poor skating. He’s just an average skater at the WHL level, making him a below-average NHL skater, and this can hold him back. His stride is clunky as he doesn’t bend his knees enough, and he lacks the power in his stride you’d expect from someone with his physical tools. Offensively, it makes him a mediocre player in transition who struggles to carry the puck through the neutral zone and gain zone entries. It also means he isn’t a great play driver, and he needs someone to carry the puck for him. Once the puck is in the offensive zone, Geekie can do a lot of damage, but he needs someone to do plenty of leg work, making him a passenger at times.
“Despite the positives in his defensive game, mentioned earlier, his poor skating hinders him a lot in this area. He’s frequently the last forward back and can get caught chasing the puck in the zone, or he takes long wide turns up ice and can get caught out of position. He also lacks consistency in his defensive game, often looking to cheat up ice in search of offensive chances, or he gets caught sleeping, gliding around the defensive zone, losing his man. This wouldn’t be as big of an issue for a winger, but as a center, this can be detrimental. He has the size and hockey IQ to be a solid player in his own zone, but he needs to find consistency and improve his skating before he’s a reliable player in his own zone.”
How This Affects the Coyotes’ Plans
The Coyotes made waves already by selecting Logan Cooley third overall, and they went back for more centre depth by taking Geekie. Arizona is in the middle of something big, and bringing some much needed talent and skill down the middle will make them an exciting and relevant team to watch out for in the near future. Geekie provides an excellent mix of skilled offense and smart tendencies without the puck.
Covering the Nashville Predators. I work for a company called SPORTLOGiQ and have loved the game of Hockey for over three decades. I’m obsessed with advanced analytics and pair that with my love for the eye test – i.e. watching the games (I DO that too!)