Weight: 193 pounds
Draft position: Taken 67th overall by Carolina in 2017
Contract: 3 year ELC worth $763,333
Morgan Geekie was the Canes’ first choice in the third round in 2017. The overage forward exploded onto the scene in his second year of eligibility, scoring 35 goals and adding 55 assists for a whopping 90 points in 72 games. Geekie’s offensive explosion came a season after scoring just 25 points. Why the sudden increase in points? Well for one, Geekie had been given a depth role in Tri-City, and wasn’t given a whole lot of ice time. This led to a fairly unimpressive draft year. Geekie wasn’t a big guy either. He had a tall frame, but was a scrawny kid that couldn’t do a whole lot when faced with a puck battle. The next season, Geekie changes. He’s given a bigger role on a better team, and he runs away with it. Not only is he stronger, he’s getting faster too. He’s finding the net, and is putting up points at a ridiculous rate. The Canes take notice of this improvement, and decide to select him in the third round.
Geekie wasn’t well known when he came into prospects camp. All that Canes fans knew about him is that he had had a great overage season in the WHL. There was little hype for the overage player until some fans saw him play. Fans noticed what the Canes’ staff had noticed as well: Geekie was dynamic in the offensive zone. He could score from anywhere, make great passes, had great hands, and hovered around the net. Fans loved his ability, as did I. Geekie was the player that stood out the most. He was great in the offensive zone, and above average in the neutral zone. His defensive play was average, and the only concern that I had was that his skating was below average. He had good speed, it just took him forever to get up to speed.
Geekie’s next season showed a lot of improvement. His numbers dipped to 84 points in 68 games, but other parts of his game were more refined. Geekie was able to improve on his acceleration, and he no longer looked sluggish while trying to skate up the ice. He was able to pass more, and was able to produce even when Tri-City struggled with injuries. Michael Rasmussen missed roughly 20-25 games, which definitely hurt Geekie’s assist totals. Still, he managed to lead Tri-City in points, and was named the WHL’s player of the month for March. While he may have had a great regular season, it was nothing compared to his playoffs. Geekie was lights out in the first two series, and ended the playoffs with an astonishing 27 points in 14 games. He led the WHL playoffs with 17 goals, and his team didn’t even make it to the WHL finals. Morgan also led the WHL playoffs in game winning goals with four. This performance was enough to earn him an NHL contract, and he’ll start his professional career next season.
Some fans have questions about Geekie as he enters into his first professional season, so we’ll dive into them now.
Is Geekie an NHL-level player?
Well his production would indicate that, wouldn’t it? Sadly, it’s still too early to tell whether or not he’ll be an NHL player. It’s looking good for him so far, especially after two great seasons back to back. This season will be a good test for Morgan. He’ll play against better competition, and should be given top nine minutes. If he can do well in that role, then it could be easier for him to make the team in 2019. He’ll likely stay in Charlotte until 2020 though.
Where will Geekie start the season?
It’s pretty certain that he’ll start in Charlotte. Geekie has already shown that he can be a threat offensively in the WHL, and I don’t believe that there’s much for him to gain in the ECHL. The Checkers may have a lot of centers listed on their roster, but a lot of those guys can play wing as well. Geekie will likely start the season as the Checkers’ third line center.
What’s Geekie’s ceiling?
Geekie could be a second line center, but he likely pans out as a third line center. He’s got the offensive tools to be successful on the second power play unit, and could be good for 10-15 goals a season. If he does make it to the NHL, he could be a reliable 30-40 point player if utilized correctly.
Morgan Geekie is a player that went under the radar in his first draft year, but took the WHL by storm the very next season. He hasn’t disappointed since the Hurricanes drafted him, and it’ll be exciting to watch him grow even more this season. If all goes right, he could be gunning for a roster spot in the next two years!