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SCSU's Jack Peart makes US World Junior Championship roster

Freshman from defenseman from Grand Rapids was a late addition to the final tryout camp

SCSU vs St. Thomas_0879.jpg
St. Cloud State defenseman Jack Peart (23) moves the puck against the University of St. Thomas in the third period Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Jason Wachter / The Rink Live

PLYMOUTH, Mich. β€” Jack Peart got a call on Friday that he was not expecting.

He got news he was hoping for on Tuesday afternoon.

Peart has been named to USA Hockey's 25-man roster for the team that will compete in the IIHF World Junior Championship tournament that will be held Dec. 26-Jan. 5 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta.

Peart, a freshman defenseman on the St. Cloud State men's hockey team, was on a Zoom call on Tuesday morning after practice. He said that he was planning on continuing to practice with the Huskies when he got a phone call four days earlier.

"I found out Friday night that I was getting the call (up)," he said. "I had no clue.

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"I'm very fortunate to have this opportunity."

Peart, an 18-year-old from Grand Rapids and a Minnesota Wild draft pick, is one of eight defensemen named to the American roster. The others are Brock Faber (University of Minnesota), Luke Hughes (Michigan), Wyatt Kaiser (Minnesota Duluth), Tyler Kleven (North Dakota), Ian Moore (Harvard), Scott Morrow (Massachusetts) and Jake Sanderson (North Dakota).

Peart becomes the 11th player from St. Cloud State to make the US roster that participates in the World Junior Championship and first since Ryan Poehling in 2019.

Peart participated in the USA Hockey World Junior Showcase in July and was not named to the preliminary roster on Nov. 30. The team had its first day of its camp on Dec. 12.

Peart suffered an upper body injury in a game against Wisconsin on Oct. 22 and missed four games. St. Cloud State head coach Brett Larson said that the injury may have kept Peart off being named to preliminary roster.

"He was hurt right in the middle of their evaluation process," Larson said. "He doesn't play two games out in Colorado Springs and doesn't play in the first game against Omaha at home. I think having him out, they didn't get as many viewings of him as they wanted.

"But I think, all in all, his trajectory in the first half of the season has been really good. He just kept getting better, week by week."

Peart has two goals, 10 points, 10 blocked shots, is a plus-4 and has 18 penalty minutes in 12 games this season for the Huskies (10-6). He said that he can notice some changes to his game since he was at the USA camp in the summer.

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"I'd say that my skating has definitely gotten better with practices and how fast everyone moves," Peart said. "I think my defense has gotten better with my gaps."

Larson said that representatives from USA Hockey contacted him on Friday afternoon and asked for his assessment of Peart. Larson was an assistant coach for Team USA at for the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship tournament.

"I think his last series against North Dakota really showed that he should be at the (USA) camp," Larson said of Peart, who had four assists and was a plus-4 in the two games. "I think he's come back from that injury and just gotten better and better."

Larson pointed out that Peart has shown an ability to make quick adjustments during his time with the Huskies, something that is important in World Junior Championship tournament. Larson pointed out that Peart did not have strong road games against Minnesota State University-Mankato and Minnesota in the first games of those nonconference series, but bounced back to be one of the top defensemen in the second games of each of those series.

"I think that says a lot about being able to handle a stressful situation and a big jump," Larson said. "Going into that (World Junior) tournament, that's really high level hockey and you've got to be able to acclimate quickly. I think Jack will be able to do that."

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Larson said that the team will be watching USA Hockey's games on the TV in the locker room when they are all together.

"I'm really proud of him and I know his teammates are too," Larson said. "We'll have the games on the big screen on the locker room and we'll be cheering him on."

Huskies on USA World Junior roster

1991 β€” defenseman Tony Burns

1996 β€” forward Matt Cullen

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1996, 1997 β€” forward Mark Parrish

2003 β€” goalie Bobby Goepfert

2006 β€” defenseman Casey Borer

2010 β€” goalie Mike Lee

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2012 β€” defenseman Kevin Gravel

2016 β€” defenseman Will Borgen

2017 β€” defenseman Jack Ahcan

2018, 2019 β€” forward Ryan Poehling

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2022 β€” defenseman Jack Peart

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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