Brett Pesce: 2013 NHL Draft Player Profile #62

By
Updated: June 15, 2013
Brett Pesce

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TopShelfProspects Edit: Drafted 66th Overall by Carolina.

Playing at the University of New Hampshire, Brett Pesce is this year’s highest ranked prospect coming out of the NCAA.  His late 1994 birthday means that he was able to enroll as a freshman despite not being draft eligible until this year.  Pesce was impressive as a freshman playing as a top 4 defenceman for the Wildcats, along with plenty of penalty killing time.

Pesce also has international experience, playing for the US squad at the 2011 Ivan Hlinka tournament.

Defense
Born Nov 15 1994 — Tarrytown, NY
Height 6.03 — Weight 170 — Shoots Right

Pesce is very solid in the defensive zone. He’s not one to lay huge hits, but he plays a physical game, rubbing out opponents along the boards, and battling in front of the net and in the corners.  He lacks muscle right now, so he isn’t as effective as he will be when he bulks up, but he’s pretty good as is.  Pesce maintains very good gap control which keeps him in great position to make those plays.  Pesce has a quick stick and is able to steal pucks with a poke check or by anticipating passes well.

The strong defensive game is built around Pesce’s skating.  He has great pivots, edgework, and agility, which gives him really good mobility on the ice.  He is able to make quick cuts and changes in directions in all 360 degrees.  Pesce has good top end speed both forwards and backwards, generated from a long and powerful stride.  However his startup is sometimes a bit choppy, and this can rob him of his acceleration at times.  He is strong on his skates and has decent balance, but it can be improved if he can add some lower body muscle.

Offensively there isn’t much to write home about with Pesce.  He is a stay at home defender.  He makes good outlet passes to start the transition game, but rarely attempts to join the rush.  His skills in the offensive zone aren’t much to write home about, and his slapshot is not going to scare anyone.  Clearly we are looking at a pure defense first player here.

In assessing Pesce I notice a style that is comparable to Rob Scuderi. In terms of potential, I believe that Pesce can be an effective second pairing defensive defenceman should he develop to his full potential.

Check back tomorrow for another NHL draft feature.

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3 Comments

  1. Simon Ledsham

    June 15, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Ben,

    I’d like to know: what is your position on Central Scouting’s draft rankings? Obviously your rankings are wildly different. Should any consideration be given to them (Central Scouting rankings)? For example, they’ve got Zach Nastasiuk at 13th among NA Skaters, while you’ve got him at 55th on your list. Is Central Scouting swayed too heavily by impressive/unimpressive performances in playoffs, international tournaments, etc? I see a lot of guys on their list fluctuating wildly up and down the rankings throughout the year. If not, to what factor(s) might you attribute the large discrepancies between your list and Central Scouting’s rankings?

    • Ben Kerr

      June 15, 2013 at 11:33 am

      Every scout is going to have differences in rankings.

      When I spoke to Trevor Timmins last fall he said that they only rank about 100-120 players every year. Now with 210 players being drafted every year you’d think they would need more, but they don’t because their 7th round picks are still in the team rankings for top 100. So even NHL teams who have the best scouts, have 30 different evaluations of the same group of guys.

      Central Scouting is a big organization, with a ton of great scouts and so they have to be respected to some extent.

      However recent years have shown that their rankings are not really predictive of the draft or anything else. I look at them as just another reseource out there, but obviously a good one.

      One issue I do have with NHLCS though is that they still separate their ranks into four different groupings of North America/Europe, goalies/skaters and so the numbers get skewed by that and dont mean a heck of a lot. I’d like to see a master list.

      • Simon Ledsham

        June 15, 2013 at 11:47 am

        Thanks for the reply!

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