The Pipeline: A conversation with Conor Geekie
Though he stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs in at 205 pound, Conor Geekie doesn’t consider himself a power forward.
He sees himself more as a playmaker in the mould of Aleksander Barkov or Leon Draisaitl.
“I’m a big forward, but I like to look at myself as a playmaker,” Geekie told Guy Flaming on The Pipeline Show. “I kind of play like that in the offensive zone with my head up. I have a lot of faith in finding seams and looking for soft passes.”
It’s a method that’s clearly worked for the 17-year-old.
Geekie is a point-per-game player for the Winnipeg ICE with 53 points (16 goals, 37 assists) in 48 games.
He is No. 11 in FCHockey’s Midterm ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft, and is fourth among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm list.
The projected first rounder doesn’t let the high draft rankings get to his head, thought.
He’s more focused on winning.
“When it comes to the draft I have really good support from my family. I wouldn’t say I look at too many rankings,” Geekie said. “I’m more curious about being ranked the number one team in the country for eight weeks in a row. I think that’s a lot bigger for me cause that’s my goal right now is to win a championship with this team.”
Guy Flaming: In the season, you have slightly more than a point-per-game. I’m guessing you have to be happy with the way you’ve performed here just on an individual basis, too?
Conor Geekie: For sure. As most people know, I’m pretty hard on myself with expectations, so definitely happy with what I’ve done and what I’ve accomplished. But definitely not satisfied.
Guy Flaming: Are you a guy who sets statistical goals for yourself at the start of the year?
Conor Geekie: I wouldn’t say so. I kind of know how I go at things. I’m a pretty competitive guy. I think for me, it’s just the personal goal and myself. Two older brothers definitely help the competitive side, too.
Guy Flaming: And I know you took to hockey pretty young. You have a couple of older brothers and I imagine it was a case of just wanting to do whatever your older brothers were doing?
Conor Geekie: Obviously my dad was very good, whether you wanted to play chess or checkers, they’re always going to support us. But baseball and hockey was definitely where I found my love growing up.
Guy Flaming: So, was there any pressure to be a defenseman, for any of you because dad was a defenseman?
Conor Geekie: No, I think my dad kind of knew our skills, our IQ and our vision. We all kind of had that natural goal scoring ability, playmaking type, so I think it was not so much pressure and he just let us fit where he thought we would do best.
Guy Flaming: For those who haven’t had a chance to watch you play, how do you describe yourself as a player?
Conor Geekie: I’m a big forward, but I like to look at myself as a playmaker. I’ve compared myself to Leon Draisaitl and Aleksander Barkov. I play like that in the offensive zone with my head up. I have a lot of faith in finding seams and looking for soft passes. I use my creativity a lot, but most importantly I like to shoot the puck quite a bit. I’ve been working on hitting the net and hitting my spots and I think it’s all starting to come. Hopefully I can keep that up.
Guy Flaming: For you to have success at the next level, which areas of your game do you still want to work on? Most guys tell me they want to get bigger and stronger, but you’re 6-foot-4 and 200ish pounds already, so you got the size part already down. When it comes to your skillset and the way you play on the ice, what areas do you have to shore up the most?
Conor Geekie: I think the defensive zone would be a big help for me, learning to stop on pucks a little more, keep my feet moving, and be ready to jump on any opportunity I can. Definitely D-zone and skating. I’ve really worked on skating and trying to get that explosive power out. So, I think those are the two biggest ones for me.
Guy Flaming: The CHL Top Prospect game is coming up and you and Matthew Savoie are going to represent the ICE. I imagine that’s exciting for you. How important is it for you just to get that opportunity to play in a big showcase event like that?
Conor Geekie: I’m very thankful for the opportunity. Me and Matt have worked pretty hard this whole season just trying to get to that point. We’ve been snubbed a few times when it comes to stuff like that. For me it’s just a cool experience. I hope to have a good time there, which I know I will, but I will definitely be excited to get back to the team.
Guy Flaming: When it comes to the draft, a lot of players tell me they try not to think about it all, but other players tell me they actively look to see who’s got them ranked where and they use that as motivation. Everaybody has you ranked as a first rounder, but do you think about the draft much or do you try to push that aside?
Conor Geekie: No, when it comes to the draft I have really good support from my family. I wouldn’t say I look at too many rankings. I’m more curious about being ranked the number one team in the country for eight weeks in a row. I think that’s a lot bigger for me cause that’s my goal right now is to win a championship with this team.
This interview has been edited for clarity and content.