Best Later Round Picks of the Carolina Hurricanes

RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 18: Niclas Wallin #7 of the Carolina Hurricanes prepares for a faceoff during a NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 18, 2010 at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NC - JANUARY 18: Niclas Wallin #7 of the Carolina Hurricanes prepares for a faceoff during a NHL game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on January 18, 2010 at RBC Center in Raleigh, North Carolina. (Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 03: Brett Pesce #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes defends a rush by Adam Pelech #3 and Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders in the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes won 5-2 and won the series, 4-0. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA – MAY 03: Brett Pesce #22 of the Carolina Hurricanes defends a rush by Adam Pelech #3 and Jordan Eberle #7 of the New York Islanders in the third period of Game Four of the Eastern Conference Second Round during the 2019 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PNC Arena on May 03, 2019 in Raleigh, North Carolina. The Hurricanes won 5-2 and won the series, 4-0. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

Brett Pesce

  • 3rd Round (66th overall) in 2013
  • Games Played: 289
  • Goals-Assists-Points: 16-68-84

Moving into current players, we start with a big one.  Since breaking in with the Hurricanes in the 2015-16 season, Brett Pesce has established himself as one of the top defensemen on a deep blueline.  In four seasons, Pesce has made his mark as a reliable and defensively sound player while also improving his offensive output.

Using his size and mobility, Pesce plays a positionally sound game.  He’s caught out of position so rarely that when his game is off, it’s all the more noticeable.  Thankfully, that hasn’t happened a lot so far in his young career.  This past season, Pesce led the Carolina Hurricanes with a career-best +35, managing 53 hits, 131 blocks, and winning 100% (1-for-1) of his faceoffs while averaging 20:29 minutes per game.

On the offensive end, he set career-highs in goals (7), assists (22), and points (29).  On a blueline that includes Justin Faulk and Dougie Hamilton, Pesce’s offensive output is a bonus.  The fact that he’s signed to a very palatable deal through the 2023-24 season ensures that Hurricanes fans will get to witness Pesce’s continued growth as one of the most underrated defensemen in the NHL.

Speaking of which…