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: Pesce was originally scheduled to spend a season in the USHL but instead enrolled at the University of New Hampshire a year earlier than expected. He skated in 38 games for the Wildcats as a freshman. Pesce scored 1 goal with 5 assists and his +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.
2014-15: Pesce signed a three-year entry-level contract with Carolina in March 2015 and made his pro debut with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers following his junior season at the University of New Hampshire. He had 1 assist and was +2 with 6 penalty minutes in four games for the Checkers, who missed the AHL playoffs after finishing fourth in the West Division. Pesce scored 3 goals with 13 assists and was +10 with 32 penalty minutes in 31 games for the Wildcats in his final season of college hockey. New Hampshire finished eighth in Hockey East and reached the Hockey East tournament semifinals, falling to eventual champion Boston University, 4-1.
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 first training camp with Carolina, signing an entry-level contract with the Hurricanes following his junior season at the University of New Hampshire. He is one of four rookie defensemen in training camp with the club heading into the 2015-16 season. He may spend time with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers as a first-year pro. Long-term Pesce projects as a second or third pairing defensemen capable of playing multiple roles.