2010-11: Brett Pesce skated for the North Jersey Avalanche midget minor team and was selected to participate in the 2011 USA Hockey Select 17 Festival. In 20 games with the Avalanche he scored 9 goals with 18 assists and had 8 penalty minutes. Pesce committed to playing college hockey at the University of New Hampshire in either 2013-14 or 2014-15 and was selected by the Omaha Lancers in the third round (43rd overall) of the 2011 USHL Entry Draft.
2011-12: Pesce participated in the 2011 U18 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and skated for the Jersey Hitmen in the Eastern Junior Hockey League. He also played in six games for the USA NTDP U18 team as a fill-in for Jacob Trouba during the World Junior Championship. An “upper body injury” during the year limited him to 17 games with the Hitmen and he scored 1 goal with 5 assists and had 18 penalty minutes. Pesce assisted on the game-winning goal against Russia at the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and in six regular season games for the NTDP team he was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Originally scheduled to spend a season in the USHL, Pesce instead enrolled at the University of New Hampshire a year earlier than expected and skated in 38 games for the Wildcats as a freshman. He scored 1 goal with 5 assists and his plus-7 plus/minus was the sixth best mark for the Wildcats. New Hampshire finished fourth in Hockey East and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Pesce had an assist in the Wildcats 5-2 win over Denver in the Northeast regional semifinal before New Hampshire lost, 2-0 to Massachusetts-Lowell in the Northeast final. Pesce was ranked 40th amongst North American skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Carolina in the third round (66th overall) in the 2013 NHL Draft.
2013-14: Pesce skated in all 41 games for New Hampshire in his sophomore season and was one of four defensemen with 20 or more points for the Wildcats. He scored 7 goals with 14 assists and was minus-4 with 6 penalty minutes. The Wildcats finished fourth in Hockey East and advanced to the conference championship game, falling 4-0 to Massachusetts-Lowell, but did not receive an NCAA tournament bid.
Pesce is a large, offensive-minded defenseman that thinks the game exceedingly well. He is an excellent skater with speed, agility, and great feet. Pesce has puck-moving ability and offensive skills and rarely makes bad decisions with the puck. He shows great patience with the puck under pressure. Pesce has a good shot and can get the puck to the net. He possesses great on-ice vision and reads plays well. Pesce is capable of quarterbacking the power play. He will need to continue to add bulk and strength to his frame to compete at the pro level. He is solid in his own end; wising his stick and taking away lanes. He’s good in one-on-one situations but his lack of strength betrays him in trying to effectively shutdown opposing forwards at times.
Pesce is in his junior season at the University of New Hampshire in 2014-15. With three of their top defensemen from last season no longer around the Wildcats struggled to start the year and Pesce's offensive numbers reflected those struggles. Long-term he should continue to develop his game over his final two seasons of college hockey. He will likely spend some time at the minor league level following his college career and projects as a second or third pairing defensemen capable of playing multiple roles at the NHL level one day.