Former Bruins defenseman Folin signs with NHL's Wild
April 1, 2014
At this time two years ago, defenseman Christian Folin was playing for the Austin Bruins in the North American Hockey League (NAHL), having just competed in the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, where he was ultimately noticed by coaches from UMass-Lowell.
Now two years later, Folin, 23, who was the most coveted free agent playing in the NCAA, will be going back to Minnesota as he has signed a two-year, entry-level contact with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and is expected to join the club in Chicago immediately.
“Christian is a big, mobile defenseman who has a heavy shot and moves the puck well,” said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. “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.”
Austin head coach Chris Tok recalls Folin being a kid with potential when he showed up to play for the Bruins, but he couldn’t believe how fast Folin got to the NHL.
“When we first saw him play he definitely had that potential,” Tok said. “We saw he had something special, I just can’t believe that after two years he’s already going to be playing in an NHL game this week. It’s almost like a time warp.”
Tok said the signing is huge for Folin and it’s also big for the Bruins to have one of their players move on to the professional level just a couple of years after they had been playing in Riverside Arena.
“That’s pretty special. He’s a great kid and that makes it even better,” Tok said. “He’s worked pretty hard and it’s fantastic for him and the program.”
Folin played for the Bruins in the NAHL for two seasons (2010-11 and 2011-12). In 87 career NAHL regular season games, Folin (6’3/210) had 42 points. His best season came during the 2011-12 campaign when he was named to the All-Central Division Team and also played on the Central Team at the 2012 NAHL Top Prospects Tournament, where he had four points in three games. That was where Folin got noticed and committed to UMass-Lowell.
That’s where Folin recently finished his sophomore season where he led River Hawks defensemen with 20 points, including three game-winning goals and two power-play goals, in 41 games, totaling a +10 rating and 31 penalty minutes. The native of Gothenburg, Sweden helped the River Hawks win the Hockey East conference tournament before ending the season with a loss to Boston College in the NCAA Northeast Regional Final. Folin recorded 21 points in 38 games during his freshman season, ranking sixth in scoring amongst Hockey East defensemen and Hockey East Freshmen in 2012-13.