Morgan Geekie continues to put Strathclair, Manitoba on the map. On Saturday, the 21-year-old received word from the American Hockey League’s Charlotte Checkers that he had been called up to skate in the big show with the Carolina Hurricanes – the team that drafted him 67th overall in the third round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He then informed his family and made the trek to Pennsylvania for an afternoon battle against the Penguins the following day.
On Sunday, he wowed his new teammates, coaches, front office staff and Hurricanes fans alike with a two-goal, three-point NHL debut, in a 6-2 Carolina win over the Penguins in Pittsburgh. He then followed up his performance with an on-air interview with FOX Sports while sporting a John Deere ball cap in typical Manitoban style.
At 9:52 of the opening period with his Hurricanes trailing 1-0, Geekie calmly redirected a Jake Gardiner point shot past goaltender Tristan Jerry for his first of the game. Later, Geekie picked up the secondary assist on a Jaccob Slavin tally midway through the middle stanza. In the third period, the Tri-City American standout alum collected a loose puck opportunity in the low slot, where he made no mistake finding the twine for his second goal of the game.
“Yeah it definitely happened pretty quick, that’s for sure,” Geekie said post-game. “It’s great that (my family) could come out on such short notice, and kudos to the Canes for making all that work. I’m just trying to take it all in the next couple hours here.”
Even better still, all three of Geekie’s points came while battling against penguins’ superstar Evgeni Malkin in a line matchup the Hurricanes handily won. In scoring two goals and adding an assist, the former bantam and midget Yellowhead Chiefs star became just the second player in Hurricanes/Whalers franchise history to earn three points in his NHL debut, joining Dan Bourbonnais, who registered a 1-2-3 stat line back in 1981. He also joined Brad DeFauw as the only Hurricane/Whaler to collect multiple goals in his NHL debut.
“It’ll probably soon sink in here, but you know, the work is just starting,” Geekie added. “It’s hard to get here, and even harder to stay; I am just going to keep working, put my head down and do the right things.”
Geekie’s full stat line saw the 21-year-old put up two goals on two shots, with two blocked shots, one takeaway, no giveaways, three face-off wins and a plus-three rating in 9:51 of icetime, in front of friends and family who all made the trip to Pittsburgh to watch him play.