Wild close to signing former Minnesota Mr. Hockey Jack Peart to entry-level contract: Sources


The Minnesota Wild are adding another defenseman to their blue-line prospect pool.

They are close to signing 2021 second-round pick Jack Peart to his three-year entry-level contract, multiple league sources said Monday. The deal would start in the 2024-25 season, but he is expected to sign an amateur tryout to play for Iowa for the rest of the season. He’ll report to Des Moines as early as Tuesday.

Peart, 20, could have returned to St. Cloud State for his senior season but chose to turn pro after St. Cloud State’s season ended in overtime against the University of Denver on Friday.

Peart will likely start in AHL Iowa next season, as well, and will join a prospect pool that includes Daemon Hunt, Carson Lambos, Ryan O’Rourke, David Spacek and Kyle Masters.

The Grand Rapids, Minn., native won the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award in 2021 after leading Grand Rapids High in points for a defenseman with 11 goals and 35 points in 18 games. He scored three goals and 14 points in 38 games during his junior season with the Huskies and had eight goals and 55 points in 109 collegiate games.

“His numbers dipped this season, but there’s a lot more to look at in a player’s game than stats,” Wild assistant director of player development Matt Hendricks said Saturday morning on KFAN. “The growth that he’s shown on the defensive side of things has jumped off the page for us this year. He has begun to really, really trust his feet defensively.

“He’s got an ability to battle in corners and to hold his ground net-front. Those are the things that will allow him to find success at the next level. … The offensive numbers, we think, he’ll rebound from that eventually, but Jack is a tremendous player in terms of the way he sees the game, thinks the game and plays the game.”

While not a big point producer at St. Cloud State, Peart’s biggest strength is his ability to get back on pucks, break the forecheck and transition the play to forwards with speed in the neutral zone to help create offense off the rush. He’s a good skater and an excellent passer.

Peart was named Second Team All-NCHC for the second consecutive season. After playing at Grand Rapids his final season, he appeared in 24 games with the USHL Fargo Force, scoring 15 points. He had seven points in nine playoff games as Fargo reached the Clark Cup Final before losing to the Chicago Steel. He was named to the USHL’s All-Rookie Second Team.

The expected Peart signing comes days after the Wild signed prospects Riley Heidt and Rasmus Kumpalainen. As The Athletic suggested a few weeks ago, it sounds like the Wild don’t plan to sign 2022 sixth-round pick Servac Petrovsky by the June 1 deadline.

(Photo of Jack Peart: Jason Soria / Courtesy of St. Cloud State)

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