Minnesota Wild defensemen Jack Peart

Getty Minnesota Wild defensemen Jack Peart

The Minnesota Wild have stacked more losses than not of late in what has been two weeks to forget, but at least they claimed a promising victory off the ice while still losing games on it.

On Tuesday, March 26, the Wild announced the signing of defenseman Jack Peart to a three-year, entry-level contract, set to kick off at the start of the 2024-25 NHL season.

Peart, a 20-year-old native of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, was the Wild’s 2021 2nd-round draft pick. He will stay in-state with the team that first believed in him once he turned pro by selecting him with the 54th-overall pick nearly three years to this day.

Following a collegiate career at St. Cloud State University and his signing with the Wild, Peart is expected to spend time in Iowa after signing an amateur tryout deal to play there, per Michael Russo and Joe Smith of The Athletic.

“League sources say [Peart] has signed an amateur tryout to play for Iowa for the rest of the season,” Russo wrote. “He’ll report to Des Moines on Tuesday (March 26).”

Peart signed his rookie deal with the Wild following an NCAA DI 4-5 overtime loss of St. Cloud State at the hands of the University of Denver. That game put an end to his NCAA season, thus allowing him to sign with the NHL team without having to worry about college anymore and paving his way to playing at Iowa on the tryout mentioned above.

Jack Peart’s Past and Future Within Minnesota

Peart still had another year of college eligibility being a senior in the upcoming season, which he’s instead decided to forgo in order to join the professional ranks of hockey.

Peart’s journey to date includes, most notably, winning the Minnesota Mr. Hockey Award in 2021 and being named Second Team All-NCHC for two consecutive seasons while playing for the St. Cloud State Huskies.

Standing at 6 feet and 195 pounds, Peart is mostly known for his defensive skill set while flashing offensive chops. Over three seasons with St. Cloud State, he appeared in 108 games, amassing 55 points. He racked up 64 penalty minutes, 147 shots and 113 blocked shots, and he finished his collegiate run with a plus-15 rating.

Two years ago, playing his sophomore season, he posted career highs in points (24) and assists (21) to go with 3 goals. Following that breakout season, Peart played for the U.S. National Junior team at the 2022 and 2023 IIHF World Junior Championships. He helped the team win a bronze medal in the latter edition of the tourney.

As reported by The Athletic, Wild assistant director of player development Matt Hendricks told KFAN on Saturday, March 24, Perth’s growth “on the defensive side of things has jumped off the page for us this year,” adding Peart “has begun to really, really trust his feet defensively.”

Promising News in a Disappointing Minnesota Wild Season

Peart’s addition to the Wild’s farm is just one more in a string of signings made by the franchise of late, including those of forwards Riley Heidt (64th-overall pick in 2023) and Rasmus Kumpalainen (53rd-overall pick in 2023).

The Athletic, however, indicated that Slovakian forward Servac Petrovsky, the Wild’s 2022 185th (sixth-round) pick, may not be signed before the upcoming June 1 deadline.

This season hasn’t been a terrible one in Minnesota but the Wild are pretty much outside of the playoffs with just 7.6% odds of clinching a postseason berth according to MoneyPuck.

The Wild boast a 34-28-9 record (77 points) but a recent stint including three losses in four games entering Thursday, March 28, has annihilated their hopes of playing for the Stanley Cup in 2024.

This will be the first time in five years that the Wild will miss the playoffs. They lost in the first round each of the last three seasons before parting ways with coach Dean Evason earlier this year. John Hynes replaced him in late November.

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