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Geekie raising profile with Hurricanes

Center prospect set to start pro career after putting up big numbers at junior level

by Kurt Dusterberg / NHL.com Correspondent

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Morgan Geekie's ability to generate offense could turn a lot of heads when the 20-year-old center prospect begins his professional career in the Carolina Hurricanes organization this season.

The Hurricanes' third-round pick (No. 67) in the 2017 NHL Draft, Geekie (6-foot-2, 178 pounds) will join a deep pipeline of young centers with Charlotte of the American Hockey League. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Carolina on May 10.

Geekie hopes to compete for a roster spot in training camp, but is realistic about his chances.

 

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"I don't know if I have any expectations," he said. "I'm just going to come in and do my best. It's a day at a time and a year at a time, and we'll see where it takes me."

Geekie led Tri-City of the Western Hockey League in scoring the past two seasons. He followed up a 90-point (35 goals, 55 assists) performance in 72 games in 2016-17 with 84 points (30 goals, 54 assists) in 68 games last season.

"Where he's played, the junior level, is a very high level," Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said. "When a guy consistently puts up numbers in the 30s, you know he's capable of doing that at every level if he's given the opportunity."

Geekie isn't a flashy skater, but he has a quick and accurate shot.

"He gets where he needs to get, he gets around the net," Tri-City associate coach Brian Pellerin said. "He's a very skilled player that has really good vision, so he makes the players he plays with a lot better. I think he will give himself every chance to be a Carolina Hurricane."

Geekie didn't make a splash right away in junior hockey.

"As a 17-year-old coming into juniors, my coach put me into a lot of different situations and made me complete my game and play at both ends of the rink," he said. "But it definitely made me a better player and helped me to get where I am today."

Pellerin believes that first season in junior hockey helped set a standard for Geekie's game.

"Over the past three years, he's worked hard on his consistency, coming out and playing hard every game," Pellerin said. "That's allowed him to become a complete player in our league." 

That consistency was on display at the end of his junior career. Playing on a line with forward Michael Rasmussen, chosen by the Detroit Red Wings with the No. 9 pick in the 2017 draft, Geekie had 27 points (17 goals, 10 assists) in 14 playoff games last season.

"You want your best players to show up in the big games," Pellerin said, "and once the playoffs started, he really stepped up his game."

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