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NHL Draft

TSN’s Final Draft Rankings: Conor Geekie at No. 13

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Winnipeg Ice's Conor Geekie, NHL Draft
Winnipeg Ice's Conor Geekie (Photo-via Winnipeg Ice Twitter)

Bob Mackenzie may be a “washed up” hockey insider (his words, not mine) but when it’s time for the NHL Draft, he’s always prepared. With two weeks to go before the 2022 NHL Draft, he and TSN released their final draft rankings.

At no. 13 is Conor Geekie, a centerman from the Winnipeg Ice of the WHL.

Now draft rankings are much different than mock drafts. The rankings are just the players in order, while the mock draft is which teams will take that prospect based on team needs, their value, etc.

The New York Islanders have the 13th overall pick.

Conor Geekie, 19, had himself a strong season for the Ice, with 24 goals and 46 assists in 63 games played. He finished fourth on the team in points, with projected ninth overall pick Matt Savoie leading with 35 goals and 55 assists. Geekie finished second on the team in assists.

In the WHL Playoffs, Geekie notched three goals with eight assists in 15 postseason games. The Ice lost in the semi-finals to the eventual champions, the Edmonton Oil Kings four games to one in the best of seven series.

Conor Geekie is labeled as a power forward but back in March, Sportsnet’s Sam Cosentino said that Geekie “projects as a skilled power forward. The skill part is evident now, while the power forward part is a work in progress.”

The 6’4, 205 lb forward is not the best of skaters, like Islanders prospect William Dufour (5th round pick, 2020), but he makes up for it with his ability to protect the puck and win board battles, which extends offensive zone time.

The first thing that jumps out is Geekie’s vision when the puck is on his stick. He seems to have a strong understanding of the play in front of him and is quickly able to access what the defense is going to do and adjusts accordingly. With his ability to shoot and pass, he is rather dangerous on odd-man rushes.

And the anticipation factor is not just when he has the puck on his stick. Although not an aggressive player, he has a strong ability to read and react, picking off passes in the neutral zone and his quick decision-making allows for easy transitions.

Despite being a center, a lot of Geekie’s damage is done from the outside. He is able to find his teammates in tight and as mentioned his big frame allows for him to be an effective player along the boards. On the power play, like Mat Barzal, he is towards the outside with an ability to make passes to every area of the offensive zone.

Per Ben Kerr of Last Word on Sports, Geekie “has good vision as well as his strong hockey IQ. When they do get open, Geekie is able to make a pass to a teammate through a tight passing lane, setting up a scoring chance.”

You can read more about his analysis on Geekie here.

Due to Geekie’s size, he has been nicknamed “Big Rig”, the same nickname for Tampa Bay Lightning’s forward Pat Maroon. “His combination of size and skill are tantalizing,” said Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News.  Scott Wheeler of The Athletic said, “He’s got impressive hands and body control for his size, which helps him control pucks inside the offensive zone and make plays while also getting the upper hand in board battles.”

Our draft guru Marco D’Amico had this to say on Geekie:

“Conor Geekie has a frame (6’4, 205lbs) that would make any scout salivate, especially when you combine it with his impressive skill set. Geekie is primarily a playmaker that is able to get pucks off to his teammates in a hurry, all while being an exceptional possession player. He’s able to protect the puck with his big frame and impose himself along the boards in order to extract the puck and feed an open teammate. His passing game is clearly his strong side. He can make high-skill passes out of nothing and is really good at driving offence at 5 on 5. His transition game is effective because he takes up so much room on the ice; his body is both a weapon and a shield when it comes to generating positive outcome actions on the ice.”

With a name like Geekie, one would think he would be an elite computer guy, a strong video game player but quite the contrary. And for the softer people in the world, that is what we call a joke so take a deep breath and relax. He actually excelled in three other sports in high school besides hockey.

Now, in Bob Mackenzie’s piece, he shared that the players he ranked at 11,12, and 13, could displace someone in the top 10. No one truly knows how the draft will go and as of now, I would not bank on the New York Islanders even selecting at no. 13.

I understand that their prospect pool is not a strength, but when you are a team in win-now mode, sometimes trading draft picks for assets is the best way to go about bolstering a club.

The 2022 NHL Draft kicks off on July 7 in Montreal.

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