Marshall Warren is a decently tall but thin left defenseman with some offensive pop who has played in the US National Team Development Program over the last couple of seasons. Hailing from Long Island, he is a local for the most part, and has played his entire career within the country. He even played some U16 hockey here in North Jersey for the North Jersey Avalanche, who I believe play out of the Ice House in Hackensack, NJ, which is very close to where I grew up. His inclusion in US hockey will continue in the Fall, as he has committed to the college route, and will be attending Boston College for the Fall semester. At 5’11” but only 168 pounds according to Elite Prospects, he will need to bulk up for sure in order to find consistent success at the NCAA level.
For a team looking for a defenseman with some offensive upside who has the potential to make it to the NHL level one day, they should definitely take a look at Warren. He won’t require the high cost of a first round pick, but will probably be off the board before the 4th. Seeing his name come off in the third round would be expected, and perhaps some teams put a 2nd round grade on him as well, it is possible. Let’s take a little look into him and his game.
Who is Marshall Warren?
Warren is more of an offensive defenseman, although there were 13 other skaters in the program with more points than him this year. There are advanced stats here at Habs Eyes on the Prize, thanks to Mitch Brown’s Patreon where he tracks prospect data ($). Warren was great in shooting categories, with shots/60 and expected goals/60 ranking quite high. He was also great at generating controlled offensive zone entries. His possession in terms of both Corsi For and Corsi Against were also quite strong. Where he struggled was controlled defensive zone exits. This more likely means that when exiting the defensive zone, instead of creating controlled passes up the zone, he was dumping it into the neutral zone.
Marshall has had a fairly successful couple of seasons in the USNTDP. In 2017-18, playing for the Juniors in the USHL, he had 18 points in 34 games, 5 of them coming as goals. For the National U17 team that year, he was an even half point per game, with 30 points in 60 games, 8 of them coming as goals. Last year, in the USHL, he had 13 points in 26 games, still hitting that half point per game, and with the National U18 team, had a more improved 34 points in 58 games, with 8 goals. That’s nearly 0.6 points per game, a decent jump. Obviously, most of his points are coming as assists, a normal occurrence for defenseman, but producing a half point per game or more on defense shows his ability to help his team generate offense, a good trait to have in the modern day hockey game. And don’t sleep on his shot either, which is accurate.
What will help his draft stock is his inclusion in international tournaments over the last two seasons. Playing for the US U17 team two years ago, he played 6 games in the tournament, producing one assist. This past year, playing at the World Juniors for Team USA, he had 3 assists in seven games to go along with a +6 rating. Those are not eye-popping numbers by any means, but they are not terrible either. 3 points in 7 games this year is not awful, and a +6 rating is good, regardless of what you think about the stat in general. But most of all, just being involved in international play is a bonus. Unless he played absolutely awful there, it is bound to increase his stock heading into the draft.
Where is Warren Ranked?
One of Marshall’s lowest rankings, ironically enough, comes from Central Scouting itself. In the midterm rankings halfway through the year, he was ranked as the #39 North American skater. He dipped a good amount since then, however, and for the final rankings was placed at #61. The #39 could see him go in the second round, but the #61 is definitely a 3rd round selection, perhaps a later one when European skaters are thrown in as well.
-Future Considerations has him as the 52nd overall player, which is a fair bit better than Central Scouting, especially since it also includes Europeans and goalies all in one. This is 2nd round.
-The Draft Analyst, with his April 500 rankings, has Warren at #57 overall. For Steve, he bumped up Marshall between his midterm and final rankings, as at the midterm he had the d-man at #86. That is opposite from what Central Scouting did.
-The Hockey Writers, in an April rankings by Larry Fisher, has Warren going #45 overall, mid 2nd-round.
-Dobber Prospects, in their April rankings, had Warren at #72 overall, a 3rd round choice.
-ISS is probably the opposite of Draft Site here. Warren cracks their top 31 for April, coming in at #30 overall, a late first round selection! While this might be unlikely, it means it is not entirely out of the question.
What Others Have Said About Warren
With it still being early May, many skaters have not been profiled in depth by analysts and pundits outside of the top selections, but surely will over the next couple of months. Marshall Warren falls into that category at the moment, but here are some things I found:
Our friends over at Montreal’s Habs Eyes on the Prize did a draft profile of Warren a couple of weeks ago in mid-April. In the profile, David St. Louis gives some good praises to the defenseman. He likes his shot, and calls it “his best offensive weapon.” That specifically refers to his snapper, which he says is great at beating screened goaltenders. He also uses it to set up teammates for deflections and tip ins, especially when he is on the weak side of the ice and throwing the puck across towards the net. St. Louis also praises Warren’s skating abilities, and says that while he is not lightning fast, he is able to use his abilities to “rush the puck when he is given a chance.” He also likes that Warren plays more physical than his size might indicate, muscling bigger skaters off of the puck at times. This should become more prominent when he grows into his frame.
The profile does note a couple areas of concern, however. He specifically writes about Marshall’s defense off of the rush, which he believes is too aggressive and can lead to gaps. Warren is also not very good at controlled zone exits. He is great at generating controlled offensive zone entries, but defensive zone exits are another story, and an area he definitely needs to work on. In the end, St. Louis agrees that a 2nd-3rd round selection on Warren seems probable.
The Hockey Writers do not yet have a prospect profile up on Warren yet, but I bet they will at some point before the draft. Keep up with the website if you are interested. However, there is a quick write up here before the start of this season, specifically discussing the All-American Prospects game. In it, Marshall is named as a “dynamic defender.” Some notable quotes from the piece: “played so many different roles and kept showing a new side of him on every play.” “physical beast with high hockey sense.” “was in the right place, right time far too often for coincidence.” It was a positive few paragraphs to describe the defenseman.
NHL.com had an interesting personal piece about how he grew up around figure skating thanks to his mom and sister, and how that influenced his game. He thinks that it really improved his ability as a skater, which is noted as one of his strong points heading into this draft. Warren’s coach for the USNTDP compares his game to Duncan Keith, and thinks that Warren has the potential to emulate Keith in a few years. That would be a strong outcome indeed for a player most likely drafted outside of the first round.
A Little Video
Warren does have some nice videos out there to check out his game:
The first is a highlight video from this year:
And another highlight video, this from 2017-18:
Here is a shift by shift video from a 2-assist game in April of 2018:
The New Jersey Devils have been pretty woefully inefficient at producing offense from the blue line over the last couple of seasons. This season, only two defenseman had at least thirty points, Damon Severson and Will Butcher. If you want to increase that and make it 20 or more points, you can add Andy Greene to that list as well, but that is it. The Devils defense just does not score a lot of points. Adding a prospect like Marshall Warren to the organization could eventually help to alleviate that issue. Warren’s strongest suits, according to more advanced stats, are his shots per 60, his expected points per 60, and his ability to generate controlled entries into the offensive zone. That final ability is wonderful when it comes to helping to generate offense for the team, even if Warren himself is not eventually getting on the score sheet.
Beyond that though, the Devils are simply very light in the defense prospect department outside of Ty Smith, who probably will not be a prospect for too much longer. I believe it will behoove Ray Shero and Co. to add some defensive prospects in this draft, and preferably early on. We know they are not drafting a defenseman with the first overall pick, so taking defensemen in the next couple of rounds would probably be a strong idea. Given what I have seen while researching Warren, I would be happy if he was taken by the Devils. They have three second round picks, and one of them for sure will be late in the round as it comes from Boston who is still playing hockey. A pick around 60 would be a solid choice for Warren, and I would be for it. There might be stronger defensive prospects when it comes to pure defense, but Warren brings a solid mix, with some offensive upside, and that cannot be discounted on a team that needs to produce more offense from all areas, especially from the blue line.
Now that you have read up on him, what do you think about Marshall Warren? Do you agree with me that he would be a decent choice for New Jersey near the end of round 2? Or, do you think NJ should looking elsewhere with those selections? Do you have someone else in mind you think will be there that NJ should also seriously consider? Please leave your comments below, and thanks for reading another prospect profile here at AATJ!