The Minnesota Wild have agreed to terms on a two-year entry level contract with coveted college free agent defenseman Christian Folin, of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the team announced Monday. The 23-year-old native of Sweden was hotly pursued after a strong sophomore season that ended this weekend following a loss to Boston College.
"Christian is an impressive package of size, mobility, and puck-moving ability," assistant general manager Brent Flahr said in a statement. "He plays a very mature game that we feel should allow him transition to the NHL very quickly. We're very excited to have Christian join the Wild and further add to our group of emerging young players."
Folin won't be eligible for the postseason but is expected to join the Wild immediately. He's got NHL-ready size at 6-foot-3, 210 pounds and started catching the attention of NHL scouts after he went undrafted, then had a strong freshman season last year, finishing sixth in scoring among Hockey East defensemen. He led River Hawks defensemen with 20 points (4 goals, 16 assists) in his sophomore season.
He was pursued this year by nearly every NHL team, with TSN.ca's Bob McKenzie reporting that the Lightning and Flyers were finalists along with the Wild to sign him.
"He's a big-time player," University of New Hampshire coach Dick Umile told ESPN.com last week. "He'll be playing at the next level."