4. Brett Pesce
Brett Pesce is known for his outstanding defensive play and you should see a lot more where that came from. He should put in another season of plus-30 or above after finishing 2018-19 with a plus-35. If Pesce were to play a full 82 game season, then he should lead the Carolina Hurricanes in blocked shots next season. Pesce will commit less than 24 penalty minutes.
What should we expect from Pesce on the offensive side of the puck? He looks poised to break the 30-point mark and will break his career high in goal scoring. Pesce should also see 20-25 assists next season.
Analysis of 2019-20 Performance Compared to Prediction
Pesce was another of the Hurricanes players that I set expectations for this season and was injured. He was one of many players hurt in that wild game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. You know, the David Ayres game. He only missed seven games due to this injury, but it was revealed that he would miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder.
Pesce finished the season playing 61 games, scoring only four goals and collecting 14 assists. He did not break his career high in goals scored missing that mark by four and he did not reach the 20 assists mark I said he would reach. With a full season, Pesce probably would have gotten to 20 assists, but he probably wouldn’t have broken his career high of seven goals.
He did commit more than 24 penalty minutes as he finished with 27 on the season. Despite having the most penalty minutes in his career, Pesce was one of the more disciplined players on the Carolina Hurricanes this season.
He was tied for second with Joel Edmundson in terms if blocked shots with 91 and just like last season Jaccob Slavin will most likely win this category for Carolina. He was also only a plus-7, which was a disappointment because his plus/minus should be way higher than that. However, his defense was still very impressive per usual and he is just way too underrated in terms of defensive defenseman.
Just like Slavin started getting recognition, this season should do the same for Pesce. And just like when Hamilton was lost to injury, Pesce’s absence was absolutely magnified, which led to the Hurricanes trading for two defenseman at the deadline. And that didn’t even help. Pesce is a player that not a lot of teams have, and this season proved that the Hurricanes are lucky to have him.