LOS ANGELES – The Wild landed what many considered the biggest college free agent on the open market Monday night.
Christian Folin, the 6-3, mobile, hard-shooting, two-way, right-shot defenseman from Gothenburg, Sweden, agreed to terms on a two-year, $1.85 million entry-level contract that begins immediately. Folin, 23, a sophomore at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, will join the Wild on Tuesday night in Chicago, will practice Wednesday and can play in any of the final six regular-season games.
He is not playoff eligible because he’s a free agent signing after the trade deadline.
“Physically, you don’t normally have a young man coming out of college or junior that possess his physical attributes,” General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. “We think he fits perfectly into our defense corps going forward. He’s what we need. We need a little more size, we need a guy that can shoot the puck, and it’s hard to find right-shot defensemen.”
In helping lead the River Hawks to the Hockey East tournament title, Folin led UMass-Lowell defensemen with 20 points in 41 games. UMass-Lowell’s season ended Sunday with a 4-3 loss to Boston College in the NCAA Northeast Regional final. As a freshman, he scored 21 points in 38 games.
Before college, Folin played two seasons with the Austin (Minn.) Bruins of the North American Hockey League, scoring 41 points in 87 games.
“Physically, we certainly feel he can make the jump right away,” Fletcher said. “Whether he gets in or not will be up to the coaches.”