One of the bigger surprises of the expansion draft on Wednesday was Seattle electing to not take defenseman Jake Bean – someone that had been in the Kraken rumor mill for over a year.
Instead, GM Ron Francis picked a different former draft pick of his: forward Morgan Geekie.
It definitely surprised some, but Geekie getting out of Carolina's deep offensive system and into a new home could be really beneficial for someone the Hurricanes seemed to value as a prospect.
It wasn't that long ago that we were talking about his hot start in the NHL when he posted three goals and four points in his first two games back in 2020. His NHL rookie season was nothing special with just nine points in 36 games this year, but he often played under 10 minutes and never with quality linemates.
But the Hurricanes are a team built towards trying to win a Stanley Cup. Seattle? It's a land of opportunity just like Vegas was, and that could really benefit Geekie in a big way.
Geekie is just 23 – still a youngster with a lot to prove. He's a big forward at 6-foot-3 and 192 pounds that can push guys around and stand up to the best of them. He doesn't have much more to prove in the AHL with a pair of 40-plus-point seasons to his credit already. So it'll be interesting to see if Geekie makes the cut out of camp or if he heads back to, of all teams, the same Charlotte Checkers team he already proved himself on.
His bread and butter is being reliable at both ends of the ice. Geekie spends significant time around the net looking for rebounds and knows where he needs to be around his own net. In Carolina, he spent most of the time playing a handful of minutes a night and trying to shut guys down. With Seattle's lack of star power, he could showcase the offensive side a bit more as he did right out of the gate in the NHL.
It definitely would help if Francis picked Geekie over Bean solely on merit and not because there was another side deal. Regardless, Geekie has a new opportunity with a new team that'll be searching for heroes. On the surface, the team is far from beautiful, but that's exactly what could give Geekie the opportunity he needs.
At this point in his career, we might be looking at an Andrew Copp type player. Someone that can contribute, maybe not for a long time, but he'll provide value. That's not the greatest vote of confidence, but maybe it was just a one-off bad year and there will be many great days to come in the meantime. It's still really early.
This is all a lot of projection, and maybe he turns out to be nothing after all. But it's not like it really cost the team anything, right? Geekie is a low-risk, high-reward player for Seattle, and if it doesn't work after his one-year deal is up, the Kraken can move on forget it all happened.
Or he turns out to be a diamond in the rough and the Kraken end up like bandits.