They stood next to each other, watching a drill get demonstrated.
When it was time for a break, the two were side-by-side at the bench gulping down water.
And when the session moved in front of the whiteboard stuck to the glass inside TRIA Rink in St. Paul on Tuesday during the first day of the Wild’s development camp, winger Matt Boldy dropped to a knee again alongside defenseman Marshall Warren.
“Being able to have Marsh here with me,” Boldy said, “it definitely gives you a little comfortability knowing you have him and knowing you can kind of turn to him, go to places together.”
Boldy and Warren have been teammates for years, first meeting in minor hockey and then reconnecting with USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program (NTDP). They’re also both committed to Boston College.
So it made sense their journeys would continue to align, with the Wild drafting both last weekend in Vancouver — a fortuitous opportunity for Boldy and Warren to not only keep pursuing the NHL together but also perhaps one day star on the same team.
“It’s so funny because you never thought it would happen like that,” Warren said. “But at the end of the day, it’s good to have a close buddy around. He’s a great guy, and hopefully [I’ll] keep him close for a bunch of years.”
When they were 8 years old, Boldy and Warren played together on the Boston Junior Bruins. Boldy grew up outside of Boston, in nearby Millis, and although Warren was from Long Island in New York, he participated with the squad for a summer tournament.
Four years later, they reunited for another tournament. That’s when their friendship was sealed.
“We’re best buddies,” Warren said as Boldy sat next to him in the Wild’s locker room after their skate Tuesday.
Both joined the NTDP for their junior seasons, moving to Plymouth, Mich., and taking up residence with billets down the street from each other. Boldy and Warren attended the same high school (they even had the same senior math class), and hung out in their down time: eating Chipotle or sushi, walking around the mall, catching a movie or playing golf.
“I’ve probably seen him every single day for like two years,” Warren said.
On the ice, the two battled against each other in practice, and that competitive vibe underscored the success of the NTDP squad.
Aside from Boldy and Warren, 15 others were drafted directly from the NTDP — including center Jack Hughes, who went first overall to the New Jersey Devils. Boldy went 12th overall to the Wild, while Warren was selected in the sixth round with the 166th pick.
“Obviously we got a lot of really good players,” Boldy said. “So being able to go against those top-of-the-line players every day, it kind of becomes natural and it gets easier and easier and you don’t realize how good you’re becoming.”
Boldy surpassed his offensive totals from the previous year, scoring 33 goals and reaching 81 points through 64 games as a 6-2, 196-pound left winger with skill and tenacity. And Warren skated as a quick, mobile, 5-11, 163-pound defender — contributing eight goals and 34 points in 58 games.
But the 18-year-olds’ bond isn’t just based on hockey; they’ve become each other’s support system away from the rink.
“Just being there for each other, just hanging out with the guys, having a couple laughs, things like that,” Boldy said.
“I think it’s important to have your circle close,” Warren continued. “I think for us it’s good to be in this position, good to have someone you can talk to. He’s always here for me. I’m always here for him. It’s a good relationship.”
And it’s one that’ll extend into the next chapter of their lives this fall.
After decommitting from Harvard, Warren picked Boston College last October because of the caliber of talent but also because of Boldy — who committed as a sophomore.
“We talked about it in math class a little bit,” Warren said.
Once there, the two are focused on improving their games by facing off against older, stronger opponents before hopefully playing for the Wild together.
“That’s the goal,” Warren said.
“Yeah,” Boldy added.