With the 54th selection of the 2021 NHL Draft, the Minnesota Wild have selected Jack Peart from the Fargo Force of the USHL.
About Jack Peart
This seems like a script out of a story with the Wild selecting a hometown kid. Peart was a major stand out at the high school level with Grand Rapids High. After recording 35 points in 18 games played, he received the Mr. Hockey Award as the best player in the state of Minnesota. He then made a seamless transition to the United Sates Hockey League (USHL) where he suited up for 24 games with the Fargo Force, registering 14 assists and 15 points.
Related: 2021 NHL Draft Guide
Peart is a very strong skater as he displays great mobility and speed when he moves. He can be a very reliable defender in his own end and can be a catalyst in transition and in the offensive zone.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“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.
“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.”
How This Affects the Wild’s Plans
The Wild really lucked out by selecting Peart in the middle part of the second round as some even have him entering the later part of the first round. He displays great vision and awareness when he’s out on the ice and is a strong transitional player. He’s great on the defensive side of things as he’s always in position to break up plays and deny zone entries.
Despite all the strengths that Peart displays, there isn’t anything wrong with him continuing to develop his skill set at St. Cloud University. He’s a welcome addition as he has the smarts to provide a significant impact along with Calen Addison on defense. With the Wild drafting Carson Lambos in the first round, they add some more depth with Peart on the blue line. It may take him some time to make the NHL, but once he does the Wild will have a great defenseman for the future.
Peter is in his third year with The Hockey Writers, covering the Toronto Maple Leafs and heading the Draft and Prospects section. He has previously interned at The Hockey News and worked on Toronto Marlies broadcasts for Rogers TV. He currently is the co-host of the podcast Sticks in the 6ix and a frequent guest on Maple Leafs Lounge. Aside from hockey, he also enjoys drumming, animation and impressions/ voices.