Canes Choose Three in Final Five Rounds
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Third Round: Brett Pesce, Defenseman
With the 66th overall pick in the draft, the Hurricanes selected defenseman Brett Pesce from the University of New Hampshire.
“It’s an awesome feeling. I love watching the Staal brothers play. It’s probably the best feeling in the world, to be honest,” a clearly jubilant Pesce said. “It’s a dream come true. At the same time, I know I’ve got a lot to do before I make the NHL, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Pesce is entering his sophomore year at UNH. As a freshman, the Tarrytown, NY, native skated in 38 of the Wildcats’ 39 games, posting a goal and five assists.
“I think I’m pretty good in my own zone. I like to shut things down,” he said. “But when the opportunity arises to become offensive, I can try to create something and make some plays.”
“He’s a big shutdown guy, and he’s an excellent defensive defenseman,” said Tony MacDonald, the Canes’ chief of amateur scouting. “He can move the puck, he kills penalties and he’s used in critical defensive situations.”
Pesce, 18, is listed at 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds, and he’s still got room to grow.
“I got adjusted to playing against guys more physical than me,” he said of his freshman year at UNH. “I’m hoping to get bigger and put on some weight.”
“He’s a tall, lanky guy,” MacDonald said. “He’ll fill out the frame.”
Pesce said he models his defensive game after fellow U.S.-born blueliner Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers.
“I think he’s just a great defenseman all-around, in my opinion one of their best,” he said.
Pesce, who has an older brother who plays club hockey at Vanderbuilt and a younger brother who is a goalie in high school hockey, was invited to the U.S. National Junior evaluation camp, set for early August in Lake Placid, NY.
“We hope that he has a shot at making the U.S. National Junior Team because that would really serve to enhance his development and make him a better player through that experience,” MacDonald said.
Fifth Round: Brent Pedersen, Left Wing
Brent Pedersen, 17, becomes the next Kitchener product welcomed into the Hurricanes organization.
A native of Arthur, Ontario, Pedersen is a sizeable forward at 6-foot-2 and 205 pounds.
“He’s a big winger who grinds it out on the wall. He goes hard to the net, and he’s a hard-working two-way guy with some size,” MacDonald said. “He’s got a very strong work ethic.”
In two seasons with Kitchener, Pedersen, a teammate of Murphy’s, has scored 23 goals and earned 21 assists (44 points) in 132 regular-season games.
The International Scouting Service ranks Pedersen’s size and strength and hockey sense as “very good” and his puck skills and shot as “good.”
“We think there’s a lot more to come,” MacDonald said. “We’re quite happy to have him.”
Sixth Round: Tyler Ganly, Defenseman
Search Tyler Ganly on Google, and the first search result that populates is his HockeyFights.com page. According to the site, he logged eight fights with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the OHL in 2012-13.
One of those tussles was against the Canes’ fifth-round pick, Brent Pedersen.
“They can fight each other when they come to camp,” MacDonald joked.
In his first year of junior hockey, Ganly skated in 62 games and finished the season ranked third among team defensemen with 64 penalty minutes.
A native of Milton, Ontario, Ganly, 18, is listed at a burly 6-foot-1 and 201 pounds.
“He’s a real good skater. We feel he’s got a lot of upside,” MacDonald said. “He’s developing quickly, and I don’t think we’ve seen the best from him yet.”
Assessing the Day
A quick scan of the vitals for the three players above immediately highlights their size. And that’s no coincidence.
“As it goes later into the day, sometimes you go for good, small players like we’ve done in the past, but this time, it seemed to be bigger, stronger guys that were available,” MacDonald said. “As you’re getting deeper into it, my preference is to go big rather than small.”
After selecting nine players in last year’s draft - the most since 2005 - the Hurricanes picked just four players on Sunday in Newark, the fewest since 2002.
Though the Canes’ takeaway from the draft is small in number, it has the potential to be far-reaching in impact.
“We accomplished what we came here to do today,” MacDonald said. “I thought it was a pretty good day. We got the player we wanted at five, and we picked up a defenseman that’s going to be in our top-four and play on our team.”
|5, 1-5||Elias Lindholm (C), Sweden|
|35, 2-5||Traded with Jamie McBain to the Buffalo Sabres for Andrej Sekera|
|66, 3-5||Brett Pesce (D), New Hampshire|
|None: Traded Anthony Stewart, 2013 fourth-round pick and 2014 sixth-round pick to Los Angeles Kings for Kevin Westgarth on Jan. 13, 2013|
|126, 5-5||Brent Pedersen (LW), Kitchener|
|156, 6-5||Tyler Ganly (D), Sault Ste. Marie|
|None: Traded Adam Hall and 2013 seventh-round pick to Tampa Bay Lightning for Marc-Andre Bergeron on April 2, 2013|