The first round of the NHL entry draft is to take place on Thursday, July 7 in Montreal. At 8th overall, the Detroit Red Wings will be making their first-round selection. Based on talking to scouts, GMs and other hockey people, as well as studying the mock drafts of top NHL draft experts, Detroit Hockey Now is looking at players who could potentially be Detroit’s selection. Today, we look at Winnipeg Ice center Conor Geekie.
Conor Geekie is a big forward, another player who could intrigue the Detroit Red Wings because of how he can disrupt opposing defenses and play a strong 200-foot game. Would the Red Wings look his way at #8?
It’ll be a few years before Geekie would potentially crack an NHL roster, but his numbers in the Western Hockey League have been solid. He might not be the strongest of skaters, but he boasts a stellar hockey IQ and is willing to throw his 6-foot-4 frame around. His performance on the power play has been lauded and he also has good hands for a bigger forward.
Watching tape of Geekie, his stride and body movement reminds of Michael Rasmussen. He picks his spot when shooting and with a deceptive release, often finds the back of the net. But his awareness also lends itself nicely to make the smart pass or the efficient one that leads to a scoring chance or a goal.
— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) June 28, 2022
Why Might The Red Wings Select Geekie?
They need a center and one of Geekie’s greatest strengths is his compete level. He’s also a big frame down the middle, something that Yzerman and his front office prefers. Scouts and analysts agree on his higher hockey IQ and his ability to be dominant on the power play, something Detroit desperately needs. Below is a look at where a handful of analysts ranked Geekie:
- Bob McKenzie: 13th
- Dobber Prospects: 31st
- Smaht Scouting: 30th
McKenzie is usually the closest to what teams will do and he has him ranked 13th. But the lower rankings might cause an eyebrow to raise as to why Detroit would take Geekie as a top ten selection. However, Geekie plays a 200-foot game and taking him at eight would indicate the Red Wings brass see a player with a high upside.
Why Won’t The Red Wings Select Geekie?
There are better centers available, and potentially, other lethal scorers. This isn’t to take anything away from Geekie, but he seems like a player the Red Wings would need to wait a few years on. It’s a luxury they might not have like in years past. Michael Rasmussen, the 2017 9th overall pick, finally started to round out in 2022 and that’s five years of patience. Though it might be doable, the Red Wings are more inclined to find players like Moritz Seider or Lucas Raymond who can step in within a couple of seasons.
Geekie has the intangibles and hockey IQ to be an Yzerman pick. His hands and ability to play strong on the puck certainly grade out for the Red Wings. But he seems like a player that might be a bit longer on the development side.
With other options likely there at #8, Geekie is still an intriguing prospect. It’s just a question of if the upside will be met and whether Detroit wants to wait longer on his skills to develop further.