Check-In: Jack Peart
Jack Peart, a left-shot defenseman from Minnesota who has spent this season split between his high school team in Grand Rapids and with the Fargo Force in the USHL, was selected to represent Team USHL at this year’s Biosteel All-American Game. Looking forward to representing the USHL at the then-upcoming contest, Peart was excited to show the scouts how he plays on a competitive stage.
“I feel like it’s going to be more of a normal game.” Peart said. “Normally in All-Star games, guys don’t really check or forecheck hard, I definitely think it’s going to be time for some bragging rights in the USHL and it’s going to be a hard-fought battle out there.”
Peart being named to the USHL contingent for the All-American was incredibly well-deserved. Throughout the season, Peart consistently showed himself to be one of Fargo’s most reliable defensemen and bringing home some personal hardware at the high school level certainly didn’t hurt. After an 11-goal, 35-point campaign in 18 games for Grand Rapids High, Peart was named Minnesota’s Mr. Hockey, the title given to the state’s best high school hockey player of the year. Despite starting the season in Fargo, it was important for Peart to return home to Grand Rapids to join his high school teammates.
“Those are my high school buddies,” Pear explained. “I grew up playing hockey with them on the outdoor rink every day since I’ve been about three, so I just kind of wanted to go back and finish what I started in Grand Rapids and, you know, we got pretty close and getting the community there back into hockey and kind of boosting that youth hockey program was really good for us there this year.”
Peart’s roots in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Minnesota is clearly incredibly important to him and that bond to his hometown carries heavy familial ties. Peart’s father, Todd, was the first person Jack came to think of when reflecting on his time in Grand Rapids.
“My dad coached me ever since I was starting to walk,” he said. “He coached me all the way through youth hockey, he stopped in high school but pretty much everything I’ve learned is because of him, he was the first one to get me into hockey so I’m really thankful for him.”
After finishing his year in Grand Rapids, Peart will be returning to the Fargo Force for the remainder of the year, so we’re not yet done enjoying his play at the USHL level. The program in Fargo is one that Jack speaks very highly of and is a path that he would recommend to other junior hockey players.
“It’s been awesome,” Peart said of the USHL club. “Ever since I went there in September I feel like I’m so much better than when I got there. They just put so many tools in place to get the players better that come through the USHL, I want to thank all the people in Fargo for what they’ve done for me, it’s a great spot.”
Off the ice, Peart is a humble kid from a small town in Minnesota, but who is he on the ice?
“I’d say I’m a two-way defenseman,” Peart said when asked to describe his playstyle, “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.”
Peart is naturally talented and should be a wanted commodity in the upcoming NHL Draft, but he understands there is far more work to do after the draft in order to reach his dream of playing in the NHL. To be an NHL player, Peart notes, “I just feel you gotta be the hardest working player on the team, you gotta want it more than the guy next to you. It does take some god-given talent but if you don’t have the want or the will you’re not going to get there.”
To this point in the USHL season, Peart has collected one goal and 14 points in 24 games for the Force and will look to finish strong the rest of the way as the Force prepare for what they hope is a lengthy playoff run.