The Pipeline: A conversation with Noah Warren
Noah Warren of the Gatineau Olympiques is a big body defensemen who likes to play a physical game. But that’s not all he is.
Warren has been working on the offensive side of his game and it’s paying off.
“I’m pretty happy. I didn’t think I was going to produce that much offensively,” Warren told Guy Flaming during their interview on The Pipeline Show. “I’m more of a stay at home d-man. I’m pretty happy so far. I think that my progress has been really good since the beginning of the year. And I feel like I’m still progressing up to the end of the year.”
The 6-foot-5, 214-pound defenseman has 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 56 games for the Gatineau Olympiques.
Warren is No. 68 in FCHockey’s Spring ranking for the 2022 NHL Draft, and is slotted 49th among North American skaters on NHL Central Scouting’s midterm list.
The 17-year-old still has areas in his game that he’d like to improve upon before making the jump to the next level.
“I’d probably have to say, to get faster and better decision making for the next level,” Warren said. “I feel like my decision making is good for the Q, but the NHL is a way faster league so I’m gonna need to continue to improve on that.”
Guy Flaming: For yourself Noah, 21 points this year, five of those are goals in 53 games. Are you happy with the way you have played this year?
Noah Warren: Yeah, I’m pretty happy. I didn’t think I was going to produce that much offensively because I’m more of a stay at home d-man. I’m pretty happy so far. I think that my progress has been really good since the beginning of the year. And I feel like I’m still progressing up to the end of the year.
Guy Flaming: Who got you into hockey at a young age and do you remember how old you were when you first started playing?
Noah Warren: I think I was five-years-old when I got interested. I think I was playing outside with my dad, then I saw my neighbour had a nice rink in our neighbourhood. Then I was like I want to try that. I’d have to give credit to my dad and my neighbour for getting me into hockey.
Guy Flaming: You’re a defenseman. Have you always been on the blue line, or have you tried other positions when you were younger? Did you throw the pads on?
Noah Warren: I did throw the pads on when I played in youth hockey. But no it wasn’t my style. I was a big guy when I was young and tried playing forward, but I didn’t really like it and just stayed back home on defense.
Guy Flaming: Most players tell me that nobody expects more from them than the players themselves. Is that a similar thing for you?
Noah Warren: Yeah, exactly. I feel like I put a lot of pressure on myself, which is a good thing too. For sure there’s going to be pressure, but the fans have been super nice. We get good feedback. It’s fun.
Guy Flaming: We mentioned 21 points in 53 games, so the offensive side of your game has started to develop a lot more. You even said you were surprised by that, but overall what else has changed for you?
Noah Warren: I feel like I just gained confidence from my rookie year to my second year. Being around all the guys and talking to my coach a lot about that. Probably gained more confidence and I was more loose on the ice, I was more comfortable.
Guy Flaming: For the draft, some players use where they are ranked as motivation. What about for you, Noah?
Noah Warren: Well, I try not to really look at that and think about it, but you know with all my friends and my family and all the outside noise, everybody is talking to me about it. I use it as motivation as I see that I have continued to climb up the rankings. But there’s still spots that I need to improve. I try not to focus on it, but it’s always going to be there and there’s always going to be the pressure.
Guy Flaming: Now you mentioned there are still aspects of your game that you want to work on. Can you share those with us? I want ask about your strengths, but I always like when a player’s able to tell me where they’re weak or where they’re still trying to improve on.
Noah Warren: Yeah, just small details that every player has to work on. I’d probably have to say, get faster and better decision-making for the next level. I feel like my decision-making is good for the Q, but the NHL is a way faster league so I’m gonna need to continue to improve on that.
Guy Flaming: For those of us who haven’t had a chance to watch you play outside of the Top Prospects Game, how would you describe yourself as a player?
Noah Warren: I’m hard to play against D and I love to play physical. I have good skating ability, I’m a pretty good skater. And on defense I’m a good lock down D.
Guy Flaming: Are there defensemen around the NHL that you kind of look to as a template for the way you can have success, because they’re a similar size or they play a similar style.
Noah Warren: Yeah. I usually compare myself to Seth Jones, because he’s a good two-way d-man and he’s a really good skater. He can lay the body too. But recently I’ve been loving Moritz Seider who plays for Detroit. I really love his style of play.
This interview was edited for clarity and content.