After two seasons at UMass Lowell, Christian Folin is headed to the NHL.
Folin, considered college hockey’s top free-agent defenseman, signed a two-year, entry-level contract with the Minnesota Wild on Monday, one day after Lowell’s season ended with a loss to Boston College in the NCAA tournament regional finals.
“Christian is an impressive package of size, mobility, and puck-moving ability,” Wild 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 tallied six goals and 14 assists as a sophomore this season for the Hockey East champion River Hawks and earned a spot on the conference’s all-tournament team. The 23-year-old Swede was pursued “by nearly every NHL team,” according to ESPN.com’s Craig Custance, before signing with the Wild.
Folin will not be eligible for postseason play this season, but he is expected to join the Wild this week before their Thursday meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks.