After a couple days off amidst the commotion around Hurricanes roster moves late last week, the “Midterms” series continues today with another check in north of the border and the first of five stops in the Western Hockey League for an update on forward Morgan Geekie from the Tri-City Americans.
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Morgan Geekie is one of the more interesting stories of the Hurricanes 2017 NHL Draft class. He was passed over in his first year eligible in the 2016 NHL Draft and then rose up all the way to the third round in the 2017 draft based on a massive scoring surge from 25 points in 66 games in 2015-16 up to 90 points in 72 games in 2016-17. Geekie is a forward who possesses the skill set of a scoring forward. He is again playing for the Tri-City Americans in the Western Hockey League for the 2017-18 season.
Interview with Aaron Piper from DUBNetwork
About the interviewee
Aaron Piper (Twitter=@aaronmpiper) is the DUBNetwork beat writer for the Tri-City Americans and owner of Buried Puck Threads. For Aaron, hockey became cool when he watched Wayne’s World. It became passion after his first (of many) Hampton Roads/Norfolk Admirals’ games in the 90’s. It became life when he started doing video and writing work for the Tri-City Americans.
Interview on Morgan Geekie
Canes and Coffee: Can you please summarize Morgan Geekie’s 2017-18 season thus far.
Aaron Piper: Consistency. Morgan has continued to make himself a part of each game he plays in. He was 1.25 points per game last season and is on pace for 1.3 this season. He currently leads the Tri-City Americans with 62 points (20g, 42a). Keep in mind this is a team that currently has 3 first-round NHL draft picks playing (including Carolina prospect Jake Bean). In the 48 games he has played in this season, he has failed to register a point in only 14 of those. He has not gone scoreless in more than 2 straight games. He has 18 multi-point games.
Canes and Coffee: What stands out about Morgan Geekie’s game in terms of improvement or advancement during the 2017-18 season as compared to last season?
Aaron Piper: Nothing jumps out as a major leap forward to me. As mentioned before, he has been very consistent this season as compared to last. He is comfortable in his role with the team. As they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Canes and Coffee: As you evaluate Morgan Geekie as a potential future NHL player, what areas of his game project to that level? What areas of his game still show the most room for improvement in terms of ultimately reaching that level?
Aaron Piper: I think his ability to be effective in every area of the ice projects to the NHL level. He scores a lot from in close and because of that he draws extra attention from defenders. Because of that extra attention, and his ability to be a playmaker, he is really good at carrying the puck in, finding the open man and feeding them the puck. He’s also not afraid to battle in the dirty areas. He also works the perimeter well with crisp passing and his strength on the puck.
Defensively, he shows room for improvement. Last season he was +22 while he is a -5 through 48 games the season. He had really good chemistry last year with players who have moved on or are currently injured, so I think those line dynamics were a big part of his +/- rating. He’ll need to learn to limit those defensive liabilities in adverse situations.
Canes and Coffee: Morgan Geekie will have had a strong second half of the 2017-18 season if he ___
Aaron Piper: …Continues to be at the top or close to the top of Tri-City’s scoring leaders.
Canes and Coffee: Is there anything else about Morgan Geekie’s 2017-18 season that is not covered in the questions above that would be of interest to Carolina Hurricanes fans tracking his development from afar?
Aaron Piper: Geekie continues to be such a team player on and off the ice. He keeps his teammates laughing, and keeps the community smiling. He never says “no” to the opportunity to represent his team for the fans.
Canes and Coffee would like to extend a huge thank you to Aaron Piper from DUBNetwork for generously sharing his ‘from the rink’ insight on Hurricanes prospect Morgan Geekie.