NHL Prospect Report

WHL Stock Watch: Conor Geekie expanding game and highlight reel with Wenatchee Wild

As the WHL nears the halfway point, four players have started to separate themselves from the rest. 

Minnesota Wild second-rounder Riley Heidt leads the way with 53 points, just over two per game. Next, is Prince George Cougars teammate and overage Zac Funk with 51. Jagger Firkus and Conor Geekie each have 49, with the next closest players being five points back. 

The latter is where we start. 

Stock Rising 📈

Conor Geekie, C, Wenatchee Wild (Arizona Coyotes)

Last season, Conor Geekie improved his checking game – off-puck movement, defensive zone coverage, etc. – but the high-end flashes of offensive upside stayed infrequent. This season, Geekie’s success has come from the pairing of each, leading to a massive uptick in both assists and goals. 

Geekie’s always had the hands and playmaking to score like this, but now the rest of his game has caught up. Instead of idling after passing, he crashes into the defence, creating space behind him. As a result, he’s constantly building runways of space for his teammates, setting them up before creating a little extra space for them to work with. 

Those plays have also improved Geekie’s shooting game. He’s not just shooting more, but finding more ways to sneak into space for one-timers, drive the net, and create chaos atop the crease. 

The combination has allowed Geekie to completely control games at the WHL level, whether that was his dominant return weekend or his most recent three straight four-point efforts. None has been better than his four consecutive goals against Portland to tie and win the game late, punctuated with a highlight reel goal showcasing his ability to deceive and manipulate defenders in open ice. 

Last season, Geekie proved he has the roundedness to play in the NHL. Now, he looks like he can push for the upper limits of the lineup in the right situation. 

Josh Davies, LW, Portland Winterhawks (Florida Panthers)

Josh Davies had the skill set to become an exception to the small, low-scoring profile seldom making the NHL rule. His rather incredible physical game, work rate, and forechecking made that possible. After starting the season with 19 goals and 12 assists in just 22 games, it’s safe to say that Davies isn’t low-scoring anymore. 

Davies has found success as the shooter on a line with overagers Gabe Klassen and James Stefan, spending less time battling down low than he did with Swift Current last year. The shot has more opportunities to shine as a result. And when he does get the puck down low, he’s showing more patience and creativity as a playmaker than before. 

This start doesn’t drastically change Davies’ NHL upside, but it does change his odds. With a scoring season and the confidence that comes with it, he’s back on the track to becoming a tanky third- or fourth-line winger.  

Joshua Ravensbergen, G, Prince George Cougars (2025 NHL Draft)

Joshua Ravensbergen has been the best goaltender in the WHL through the first half of the season. Yet, he wasn’t drafted into the league and won’t be NHL draft-eligible until 2025. 

Through 14 games, Ravensbergen is rocking a league-leading .944 save percentage, backed by five shutouts. Sure, he’s on the CHL’s No. 1-ranked team, but his 19-year-old NHL draft pick tandem partner Ty Young has a .880. He was playing U18 AAA last season! 

On December 3rd, Ravensbergen posted a 33-save shutout against the Portland Winterhawks, the No. 7-ranked team in the CHL. At 5-on-5, he stopped nearly 3.3 expected goals against, the most in any of the games I've tracked this season by far. Tips, rebounds, one-timers – he stopped it all. And that's not including his work on the penalty kill. 

While there’s still a lot of hockey left, Ravensbergen's success is one of the WHL’s best stories this season. Remember the name. 

Honourable Mentions: Tarin Smith (2024 NHL Draft), Harrison Brunicke (2024 NHL Draft), Miguel Marques (2024 NHL Draft), Cameron Schmidt (2025 NHL Draft), Yegor Sidorov (Anaheim Ducks), Justin Kipkie (Arizona Coyotes), Parker Bell (Calgary Flames), Riley Heidt (Minnesota Wild).

Stock Steady ↔️

Carter Sotheran, D, Portland Winterhawks (Philadelphia Flyers)

Given Carter Sotheran’s lack of production on a top team, Stock Falling seems like the spot. But watching the tape, Stock Rising seemed like a better position. So, I split the difference.

The activation game and transition skills are still Sotheran’s strengths, benefitting from even more volume and aggression. He stretches the ice with long-range passes, activates ahead of his forwards and then leads the rush once the pass arrives, and resets for support at the perfect moments. In the offensive zone, he uses space before shooting, always activates off puck, and has developed more patience under pressure.  

Sotheran will have to find more opportunities to create offence himself, especially as a playmaker in-zone, but there’s no doubt that production hides his success this season. If he does that, he’ll appear in the Stock Rising next, regardless of production. 

Stock Falling 📉

Adam Titlbach, LW/C, Vancouver Giants (2024 NHL Draft)

After a stellar Hlinka Gretzky Cup, Adam Titlbach entered the season as a potential, if not likely, top-20 talent in the eyes of our team. But the WHL has not been kind to the high-pace, high-skill forward. He has just 13 points in 28 games. 

With changes of pace, weaving routes, and handling skill, Titlbach slices through WHL defences. He consistently creates favourable positions for himself, whether by beating the defence outright, dragging defenders to himself to create passing options, or cutting back to shake them. 

But, so far, Titlbach’s struggled to do much with those positions. Passes take too long to leave his stick. He’s risk-averse to the point where he’ll avoid a relatively low-risk, high-value pass to cycle the puck instead. Even if he creates a lane to the inside, he too often takes the outside and eventually gets pinched out.

With all that said, Titlbach’s speed has still led to a pile of chances that have gone unfinished. He’s been a bit on the unlucky side. With six points in his last six games, maybe that luck is starting to return. Samuel Honzek also returned last weekend, which gives the Giants a much-needed boost of top-end talent.  

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This article is about:
2024 NHL Draft NHL Prospect Report Arizona Coyotes Florida Panthers Philadelphia Flyers Portland Winterhawks Prince George Cougars Vancouver Giants Wenatchee Wild Wenatchee Wild Wenatchee Wild WHL NHL Josh Davies Conor Geekie Joshua Ravensbergen Carter Sotheran Adam Titlbach
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