Jicky hopes to follow in brother’s footsteps to the NHL ahead of the 2022 draft

The 2022 NHL Upstairs Draft will take place July 7-8 at the Bell Center in Montreal. Round 1 will be July 7 (7PM ET; ESPN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS) and Rounds 2-7 on July 8 (11AM ET; NHLN, ESPN+, SN, TVAS). NHL.com counts down to the draft with in-depth profiles on top prospects, podcasts, and other features. Today, a look at Connor Jake’s center with Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League. Full NHL.com Draft coverage can be found over here.

Conor Geekie may be the best athlete out of the three Geekie siblings – and that’s a big statement.

Morgan Jake, the 23-year-old striker with the Seattle Kraken, is the oldest. Noah Geekie is 21 years old, and despite being selected in the second round (#41) by Calgary Hitmen in the 2015 WHL bantam draft, he made the decision when he was 17 to play baseball instead of hockey.

Then there’s Connor, at 18, the youngest but probably the strongest.

“I would definitely say he has the most skill of all of us,” Noah said. “He definitely has a lot of talent, does a lot of work, and that size definitely helps him. I mean he’s 6ft 3 without skates, and his reach is insane.”

Noah just completed his junior season at Emporia State University, a Division II school in Kansas, and ranked third on the team in batting average (0.318) in 2022.

Morgan, who was picked by Carolina Hurricanes in the third round (#67) in the 2017 NHL Draft, has been acquired by Seattle in the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft and has earned 22 points (seven goals, 15 assists) in 73 games this season.

“Morgan was never really given anything in hockey, and he had to work hard for everything he achieved,” Connor said. “He’s been late in the draft pick and I think a lot of the things he does, and what I get most into, is the guy who’s off the rink, how humble and hardworking.”

Connor is an expected first-round pick in the 2022 Upper Deck NHL Draft. The 18-year-old center (6 feet – 3, 190 pounds), No. 5 in The final NHL Central Scouting ranking of North American skaters, has 70 points (24 goals, 46 assists) in 63 regular season games for Winnipeg of the Western Hockey League. He finished fourth on the team with an average of 1.11 points per game and has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 15 WHL playoffs.

“We will never tolerate him just because he’s such a little kid,” Noah said. “We’ve always been tough against him. And even now, when we come home during the break, we still play against each other and that’s so much fun. He’s definitely gained a lot of skill and I feel like he’s going to gain more once he’s fully grown in his body.”

“I don’t mean to brag or anything, but we’ve played over the Christmas holidays the last two years, 1 against 1, me against Connor, and I beat him both times on the ice. I still understand.”

Connor smiled when reminded of Noah’s dominance over him.

“I think Noah was like me and Morgan in some way, but I’m a take a risk, outgoing,” Connor said. “Morgan had a good shot, good vision. Noah was the complete player, between me and Morgan. I think a good player comparison with me would be Leon Drystel (Edmonton Oilers). I’m obviously not as good as he was when he was young, but I think the vision, he has a really good chance that people will ignore it.”

Growing up in the small town of Strathclair in Manitoba, Team Geekie trained and played whenever they got the chance.

“I think there are about 137 people in town,” Connor said. “The municipality got a little more; about 700. I was lucky enough to have the key to the city rink (the Strathclair Community Rink) because my dad was part of the board. The rink couldn’t have been nicer; there might have been some cattle there now. But I I think that almost made me better. The creativity that’s out there with Morgan and Noah, just playing with my guys. She was probably three blocks away, so definitely very lucky.”

James Patrick, in his fifth season as Winnipeg coach, said growing up in an athletic-oriented family was exactly what Connor needed in preparation for the player he became.

“He’s the third boy with two older brothers, so maybe the younger brother worships his older brothers, who are good athletes, but he also wants his attention,” said Patrick. “I think it’s a typical big position. A big position that NHL teams will love.”

Patrick, who was selected by the New York Rangers with the No. 9 pick in the 1981 NHL Draft, played for the Rangers, Hartford Wheelers, Calgary Flames and Buffalo Sabers in a 21-season NHL career that ended in 2003-04. He said Connor, a left-handed shot, has a lot of positive aspects.

“I think his skating is good and he will continue to improve as he gets stronger and puts in the work,” said Patrick. “There are times he seems to be lumbering in there, and then there’s a loose puck ball and somehow he takes a step over the defender, takes it to the net and does a really good play.”

NHL Central Scouting’s John Williams sees little of the Florida Panthers Joe Thornton The way Jake roams on the ice.

“He’s an 18-year-old in terms of physical development and he’s a big kid, so there are some nights her legs are a little heavy, but I worked in junior hockey with Sault Ste. Marie in the Ontario Hockey League and we drafted Joe Thornton (No. 2, 1995 OHL Draft), who had a similar skating style at that age,” Williams said. “For Connor, it’s just a matter of time as he adds some weight [and] strength in his game.

“At the end of the day, when he’s 21 or 22, this guy is going to be a big player.”

Image credits: Zachary Peters, Winnipeg (WHL); Stephen Coleman, Emporia State Athletics (NCAA)

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