This year keeps getting more and more memorable for Jack Peart.
After he was crowned Mr. Hockey in April, an honor that put a bow on his high school career with Grand Rapids, the defenseman joined Fargo in the USHL and went on a playoff run to the Clark Cup Final.
Then Peart was drafted.
To the NHL.
By his hometown Wild.
"This whole year has been really cool for me," Peart said. "A lot of great experiences that have definitely helped me in my hockey career. This is another one that's hopefully gonna help."
Peart was selected 54th overall in the second round, the first of five picks made by the Wild on Saturday during Day 2 of the draft. The Grand Rapids native is the 15th Minnesotan drafted by the Wild in team history.
"That's the NHL team I watched growing up," said Peart, who is participating in the World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich. "Just for me to get drafted by them and have a chance to play for them has been really special."
A self-described two-way defender who identifies his hockey IQ and passing ability as his strengths, Peart is clean in his own end and smooth with puck retrievals.
At 5 feet 11 and 186 pounds, the 18-year-old said he modeled his game after Wild captain Jared Spurgeon.
"I like to break pucks out and play in the offensive zone, but at the same I can play in the D zone and close gaps in the D zone and box guys out," Peart said.
In 18 games with Grand Rapids last season, Peart scored 11 goals and added 24 assists to get recognized as Minnesota's top high school player. With Fargo, he a goal and 13 assists in 24 games before chipping in two goals and five assists in nine playoff games. Fargo ultimately fell to Chicago in the best-of-five.
"He's a player we targeted, and we were really excited to see him there," said Judd Brackett, the Wild's director of amateur scouting. "I certainly thought he proved himself at multiple levels."
And another new chapter is just around the corner. The St. Cloud State commit will start his college career in the fall.
"It's the next step in my path hopefully to the NHL," Peart said.