Let’s face it, in a traditional NHL draft year the 1st round is all about the glitz and glamour of walking up on the stage, receiving a team hat and team jersey to shake hands with management, ownership and scouts that helped make the selection happen. Day 2 of the draft, rarely is as glamorous. Players that show up for the draft do get dressed up, but the big walk up to the stage is often skipped and substituted for a trip down to the draft floor towards their new team’s table to shake hands and meet the club’s brass.
While it is not nearly as photogenic of a moment, to the player, their family and friends the most important thing is the wait is over and they’ve realized their dream of being selected by an NHL team. Day two of the draft is where the team’s scouting staff digs deep into its collective knowledge as they select players that will hopefully help provide a pipeline of talent for the future.
The Detroit Red Wings became one of the dominant teams of the mid-1990’s to the late 2000’s through their ability to find top quality talent late in the draft. The 1989 Draft alone gave them cornerstones like Hall of Famers Niklas Lidstrom (3rd round, 53rd overall), Sergei Federov (4th round, 74th overall), and 11th round steal Vladimir Konstantinov (221st Overall). This draft alone made Hakan Andersson became a scouting legend for the Red Wings. But the late round gems didn’t stop there as they club selected Pavel Datsyuk (6th round, 191st Overall) in 1998 and Henrik Zetterberg (7th round, 210th Overall). These players collectively made Detroit a perennial Cup contender for over a decade.
Perhaps it should be no surprise that Red Wings legend Steve Yzerman (and Hall of Famer) would show much of the same magic as General Manager of the Tampa Bay Lightning who (along with former Wild winger Stacy Roest as their Assistant GM and Director of Player Development) helped turned that organization into a drafting machine. Just look at their team that has won back-to-back Stanley Cups and its full of players the team drafted beyond the 1st round. Anthony Cirelli (3rd round, 72nd Overall) in 2015, Brayden Point (3rd round, 79th Overall) in 2014, Nikita Kucherov (58th Overall) and Ondrej Palat (208th Overall) in 2011. Like the Red Wings players listed above, these players were not just complimentary pieces supporting a collection of players drafted in the 1st round, in many ways they were the ones that carried their respective teams to the Stanley Cup. It should be noted that the Lightning had many of these players cut their teeth in the American Hockey League’s Syracuse Crunch first.
Minnesota Wild Director of Amateur Scouting, Judd Brackett received almost universal praise from fans for how he handled his first draft with the club. Many are hopeful his savvy eye for talent will help turn Minnesota into a cup contender. After the buyouts of Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, I think its safe to say Wild GM Bill Guerin will be leaning heavily on Brackett to establish a pipeline of talent that will give the team an economical pipeline of talent that will push the team towards the league’s elite teams contending for a Stanley Cup.
So after what many considered an excellent first draft in 2020, what will Brackett & company do for an encore? The team has a 2nd round pick, one 3rd round pick and a selection of the next four rounds of the draft. The team dealt one of its 3rd round picks to move up two spots so they could select goaltender Jesper Wallstedt. Here is who the team drafted and an analysis (with stats from @eliteprospects) of their game as well as what the scouts say about these players and video where possible by Devil in the Details YouTube channel who generously recorded shift-by-shift videos of NHL potential draftees.
2nd Round (54th Overall)
LD – Jack Peart (Fargo, USHL) ~ Grand Rapids, Minnesota
Height: 5’11” Weight: 181lbs Shoots: Left
Central Scouting: #27 Hockey News: #63 ISS: #39
TSN – McKenzie: #39 HockeyProspect.com: #44
Future Considerations: #34 The Athletic – Wheeler: #37
Talent Analysis: The 2021 Mr. Hockey Award winner split time between playing at Grand Rapids High School and the USHL with the Fargo Force. He is a mobile defenseman who is a Swiss army knife of a player who can do just about everything fairly well. His most elite asset is his hockey IQ, where he reads the game extremely well and plays with patience and poise with the puck. Scouts noted in the moments he made a mistake he demonstrated that he would learn that lesson and not make the same mistake again throughout the course of a game. The St. Cloud State-commit will likely play a prominent role with the Huskies next year as a freshman. He is adept at chasing down pucks and then quickly transitioning to the attack with an accurate, crisp outlet pass. While not a big player, he does a decent job at disrupting passing and shooting lanes. He isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty in puck battles along the boards and doesn’t back down even when challenged by bigger players. Yet at times he can get caught reaching with his stick and lacks the explosiveness to recover when he commits like that. Some of that may be helped by adding strength though. Peart does a decent job at getting shots through traffic and while it may not be a cannon his release is fairly quick which allows him to catch goaltenders by surprise. He probably shines a bit more in the offensive zone than the defensive zone and his comfort-level, on-ice awareness makes him a natural power play quarterback.
What the Scouts said:
“He skates with a heightened activity rate through his feet, and uses crossovers to cut laterally and quickly close space while defending in transition. He keeps his feet stable through the neutral zone once he’s established a gap with the closing opponent. Peart shoulder-checks for options as he collects the puck, layers deception onto his first touch, and sprints right past the first forechecker with ease.” ~ Eliteprospects.com
“He’s got an elite IQ for the game, he’s so good at retrieving pucks and breaking pucks out, is excellent. If you look at guys like Ramus Sandin that overperform, that’s this kid. He’s super smart, really good skill, not big, a good skater but not dynamic. If you told me I could have one USHL’er, I’d take him.” ~ NHL Scout
“I have watched Jack play a lot of hockey the last few years and all he has done is continue to improve year to year. What might have been a weakness the previous year he managed to turn into a strength. I think his hockey sense is underrated. The split season between Fargo (USHL) and MNHS
really helped. I thought he was Fargo’s best player in the playoffs.” – HockeyProspect.com Scout, Dusten Braaksma
“I’ve always liked him. He’s a 2nd rounder for me.” – NHL Scout
“He’s a two-way blueliner with high hockey IQ, great vision and an effective shot.” ~ Future Considerations
Hockey News Comparable: Rasmus Sandin
Bottom Line: He’s more of a 2nd or 3rd pairing defenseman with offensive upside but with a responsible defensive game too. I think he’ll spend at least two seasons with the Huskies, and showed terrific poise at the USHL level and it will be interesting to see how he handles playing in the always tough NCHC. A pretty safe selection who kind of fits with what the Wild like to draft, mobile, smart defenseman who can contribute at both ends of the ice. The team passed on Evan Nause and Stanislav Svozil who both had a bit more size, but hopefully he works out better than the last Mr. Hockey Award winner we took from Grand Rapids (Avery Peterson, 6th Round, 2013).
3rd Round (86th Overall)
4th Round (118th Overall)
5th Round (150th Overall)
6th Round (182nd Overall)
7th Round (214th Overall)
What did you think of the Minnesota Wild’s selections? Tell us what you think @CreaseAndAssist!