Article by Samantha Roering. Photo by Samantha Roering.

Following the Huskies’ Friday night season-ending loss to Denver, junior defensemen Jack Peart has signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild. The contract will begin in the 2024-2025 season, meaning he will not return for his senior year of college hockey.

He was a part of the 2023 Frozen Faceoff-winning team and was a valuable asset on the blue line. In 108 games with St. Cloud, he had 55 points, earning All-NCHC Second Team honors twice.

For Peart, he’ll join the Minnesota Wild organization, a team he grew up watching. The former Minnesota Mr. Hockey winner has previously spoke about how much it would mean to put on a Wild jersey, saying it would be really special.

This will be a difficult loss for the Huskies both on and off the ice. In a season where they will already lose a top defensemen in Dylan Anhorn, Peart’s departure will deepen the defensive hole even further.

Peart and Anhorn together have 47 points this season, both serving key roles on special teams as well. Their absence will force other defensemen to step up, with Josh Luedtke and Cooper Wylie likely taking on bigger roles.

Josh Luedtke, a junior defensemen, looked ready to step up as he had a big series against Western Michigan in the first round of the NCHC tournament. He scored two goals and picked up two assists in the series to help lead the Huskies to the NCHC Frozen Faceoff.

Sophomore Cooper Wylie also had a notable performance in the NCHC tournament, scoring the first goal in the semi-final against Denver, giving the team an early spark.

The other defensemen who could see elevated roles next season include Mason Reiners, Tynan Ewart, Warren Clark, Karl Falk, and Kaleb Tiessen, three of whom were freshmen this season.

Peart and Anhorn will be missed next season, and it won’t be up to any one guy to replace them. It will take a group effort to fill those big minutes, offering opportunities to many different guys and fueling a healthy internal competition.

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