2020-21 Team: Fargo Force (#4)
Date of Birth: May 15, 2003
Place of Birth: Grand Rapids, MN, USA
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 181 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 27th (amongst NA skaters)
- FC Hockey: 51st
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 62nd
- Andrew Forbes’ May Rankings: 75th
- Matthew Zator’s April Rankings: 90th
- Smaht Scouting: 54th
- Bob McKenzie’s Rankings: 51st
- Dobber Prospects Mid- Season Rankings: 94th
During a year most people would love to forget, Jack Peart had a season to remember. Not only did he win the Mr. Hockey Award which recognizes hockey excellence in the state of Minnesota, but he also took home Rookie of the Year honours after a breakout campaign in the USHL with the Fargo Force.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Despite leaving halfway through the season to rejoin his high school teammates at Grand Rapids High, Peart still managed to put up a goal and 15 points in 24 games and another two goals and seven points in nine playoff games as the Fargo Force went all the way to the Clark Cup Final. Unfortunately, they ultimately could not get by Matthew Coronato and the Chicago Steel as they fell 3-1 in the best-of-five series.
The USHL is known for pumping out solid NHL defencemen with names like Jeff Petry, Brandon Montour, and Neil Pionk dotting recent history. The first thing you notice about them is their affinity for puck movement and the transition game. Peart is no different, as he excels at both. He is also sharp as a tack and rarely makes the wrong play coming out of his own zone. Then when he gets into the attacking end of the ice, he’s a patient and driven presence, ready to make plays at a moment’s notice. He is not the biggest defenceman at 5-foot-11, but in this day in age, that rarely is a problem, as the NHL is filled with dynamic offensive defencemen who don’t play to their size.
Of all Peart’s strengths, skating and hockey IQ are the two that stand out the most. He’s an effortless skater both forwards and backward and he knows his position like the back of his hand. He was also trusted to play in all situations by Fargo head coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux and was one of his high-minute men almost every night. That is a testament to his overall toolbox and tremendous maturity at the young age of 18.
If Peart can translate his USHL success to the NCAA with St. Cloud University and become as trusted as he was with Fargo, expect to hear his name a lot in the coming seasons.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Jack Peart – NHL Draft Projection
Ranked anywhere from the second round to the fourth round, Peart is a bit of a wildcard going into this year’s draft. In a class full of strong puck moving defencemen, he could fly under the radar and be selected lower than his skills would suggest. Ultimately, considering his strong campaign with Fargo and Mr. Hockey and Rookie of the Year accolades, don’t be surprised to see a team take a swing at him towards the end of the second round, especially if they are in need of a solid two-way defenceman to add to their pipeline.
“Jack is the smartest player and defenseman we’ve had since this staff has been here. His hockey sense and anticipation are definitely strengths for him, which projecting long-term is going to allow him to play as a medium-sized defenseman.” – Fargo coach Pierre-Paul Lamoureux
“Peart is a true student of the game that excels at split-second decision making and shows great composure when pressured. Peart is a meat and potatoes player who gains zones, makes crisp outlet passes, and can rush the puck when needed. Peart plays with a calm demeanor and has a confident presence at the blueline.” – Michael Sonday – Hockey Life
“I’d say I’m a two-way defenseman…I like breaking the puck out of the zone, rushing up and getting shots on from the point, and can also play defense. I kind of model my game after Duncan Keith, I’ve watched him ever since I was little and he’s always been one of my favorite players. I like how he pretty much does everything on the ice; he gets in the corners, he’s gritty, he rushes the puck, he’s offensive, he’s defensive, he’s everything.” – Jack Peart
- Transition game
- Hockey IQ
- Work ethic
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Needs to fill out his frame
Peart has all the makings of a solid two-way puck-moving defenceman in the NHL. Like his idol, Duncan Keith, he will use his spectacular skating and hockey IQ to ultimately become a top-four minute-munching blueliner for whichever team selects him in the upcoming draft.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 7/10, Defence – 7/10
At the end of the 2020-21 season, Peart was named Mr. Hockey (best Minnesota high school player) and was a recipient of the Reed Larson award given to the best defenceman after a season that saw him score 11 goals and 35 points in 18 games with Grand Rapids High. He then received Rookie of the Year honors from the Fargo Force after leading them to the Clark Cup Final.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.