NEWARK, N.J. – Brett Pesce (Tarrytown, N.Y.), a sophomore defenseman for the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team, was selected by the Carolina Hurricanes in the third round of the 2013 National Hockey League Entry Draft, which was held Sunday at the Prudential Center and broadcast live on the NHL Network.
Pesce, 18, was chosen with the fifth pick of the third round to become the first active member of the UNH hockey program drafted since sophomore center Daniel Winnik was selected by the Phoenix Coyotes in the ninth round (No. 265 overall) of the 2004 draft.
Pesce was the top-ranked active collegiate skater (No. 40 overall) in the Central Scouting Rankings of more than 210 North American players. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound blue-liner recorded six points (one goal, five assists) and registered a plus-6 rating while skating in 38 of the Wildcats' 39 games last season.
Prior to coming to UNH, Pesce spent two seasons (2010-12) with the North Jersey Avalanche of the Metropolitan Junior Hockey League, where he compiled 40 points in 52 games. He also notched six points (1g, 5a) in a 17-game stint with the Jersey Hitmen of the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL) in 2011-12. The Tarrytown, N.Y., native was a member of the U.S. National Under-18 Team in the 2011 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic; he dished out the game-winning assist in a victory against Russia.
Pesce joins senior captain Eric Knodel (West Chester, Pa.), a Toronto Maple Leafs' 2009 fifth-round pick (No. 128 overall), as current Wildcats selected in the NHL Draft.
James van Riemsdyk, the Philadelphia Flyers' No. 2 overall pick in 2007, was the highest-drafted player in UNH history. The three-year pro spent the first two years of his NHL career in Philadelphia before joining Toronto last season. van Riemsdyk has amassed 131 points (65g, 66a) in 244 career regular-season games to go along with two goals and five assists in two career Stanley Cup playoff games.
UNH men's hockey 2013-14 season tickets are on sale now by calling (603) 862-4000, extension 5, or online here. For more information on the UNH hockey program, follow @UNHWildcats on Twitter.