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Player Feature - Playing at Yost is Both Dream & Preview for Warren

By Becky Olsen, 10/15/14, 10:45AM EDT


Photo by Tom Sorensen.

Brendan Warren’s mom is a University of Michigan alum, so the U.S. National Under-18 Team forward attended his fair share of Wolverines hockey games at Yost Ice Arena.

Growing up in Carleton, Michigan, Warren even had an opportunity to play at Yost during his youth hockey days with Compuware.

Nothing compared to the experience he had last Monday, though, when Team USA faced Michigan at Yost.

Although the Wolverines won 7-4, the experience was an exciting preview for Warren, who plans to move on to U-M after his National Team Development Program days.

“The Michigan game was such a great experience,” he said. “It was not the result that we wanted, but it was fun. Playing at Yost is awesome. It’s a high-energy building and a fun place to play.

“I’m looking forward to being there next year.”

Warren took a few things away from the experience playing in front of his future college coach and teammates.

“It was another look at college hockey and how tough it is,” Warren said. “It’s faster and bigger than what we are playing now. It showed me that I have to prepare even more than I am right now and be prepared for what is going to happen next year. On the ice, to get a first look at who I am going to be playing with next year and see how they play, it will be good to be a part of the team next year.”

For now, Warren is focused on the present. After adding 20 pounds during the offseason, he has developed into a 6-foot, 191-pound force on the ice. Warren, however, is quick to note the entire team has improved this season.

“We got a lot of experience last year and brought it into this year,” he said. “We keep working to get better every day, so it has been a little easier out on the ice. We have played with each other and know how to support each other. It’s been a little better this year.”

According to Warren, a big reason for this year’s success is the team bonding that took place from the end of last season until the school year was done.

“That was huge for us. It was a period where we did a lot of workouts and less skating,” he said. “We were able to get bigger and stronger and gain weight. We took that into the summer and continued working. Once we got back, we bonded together again and brought it onto the ice and into school.”

The NTDP has helped Warren grow, both as a player and a person, he said.

“It is physically and mentally demanding,” he said. “The workouts are hard and practice is demanding, so we get better as players at the rink. In school, we have bonding with other people instead of just our team, which helps us grow.”

Warren’s on-ice success led to an invitation to the 2014 CCM/USA Hockey All-American Prospects Game, which was held on Sept. 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.

“Getting to see a NHL rink and the lifestyle that they get to see every day, it motivates me to keep working so hopefully I can get there one day,” Warren said.

Warren, who played for Team Olczyk, scored one of the goals in a 6-3 loss to Team Grier. He played with and against NTDP teammates in the game, and his goal was the only one given up by Team USA teammate Luke Opilka, who was suited up for Team Grier.

Despite the close connections, Warren said there was little ribbing between players.

“I actually was surprised there wasn’t anything,” he said. “We were on the bus after the game, all together and going back home, and there was nothing about us losing the game. We were all together, which was nice.”

That might reflect on the camaraderie Warren and his teammates feel every day wearing the Team USA sweater.

“It’s always an honor and a privilege to put on the USA jersey,” he said. “One of the best things you can do is represent your country, so it’s an honor to do it every single day, whether it’s in practice or in games.”

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

Past Features

Under-18 Team News


#11 Brendan Warren (Photo by Dave Reginek)

Brendan's Favorites

Favorite NHL Team
Chicago Blackhawks

Favorite Goal Celebration
"Jagr Salute"

Favorite Movie

Favorite TV Show
The Walking Dead

Favorite Actor
Mark Wahlberg

Favorite Actress
Rachel McAdams

Favorite Home-Cooked Meal
Chicken Parmesan

Favorite Activity Away from Rink
Wakeboarding, Jet Skiing