Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A New Face In The State Of Hockey: Christian Folin

Christian Folin
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 210
Shoots: Right
Born: February 9, 1991
Birthplace: Gothenburg, Sweden
Acquired: Signed as a free agent on 3/31/14

Last night, the Wild announced that they had signed highly coveted College free agent defenseman Christian Folin (pronounced Foe-lin) to a two year entry level contract.

Folin, 23, is coming off his sophomore season with the University of Massachusetts-Lowell hockey team, in which he posted six goals and 14 assists in 41 games played. Immediately following the River Hawks 4-3 loss to Boston College on Sunday, Folin became courted by just about every NHL team as an undrafted free agent.

At 6'3", Folin carries good size for a defenseman and has begun to use that frame in the physical department. He also carries a good shot, and has good puck moving skills. For more on Folin, here is an excerpt from CBS Sports Chris Peters' article from last week:
In his two years at UMass-Lowell, Folin continued in his development in a big way, growing into a physical, mobile two-way defenseman capable of playing at the NHL level and possibly even excelling. His numbers took a dip this year as his defensive responsibility grew, but in two years, he's posted 40 points in 77 games for one of the best teams in college hockey over that span. -Chris Peters on Christian Folin
Basically, the Wild have just signed a very talented two way defenseman. He can score, but likes to be very responsible defensively. He can throw a hit, making the opposition think twice when rushing up against him on the ice. Having a big frame like his will do wonders for out front of the Wild net, as defenseman have not been clearing out opponents who set up shot in front of the Wild net.

Folin joins the likes of Matt Dumba and Gustav Olofsson in terms of top tier defenseman in the Wild system. Imagine what life will be like in say, two-three years, when all these guys are on the ice for Minnesota.

Because Folin signed with the team after the trade deadline, he is not eligible for the playoffs. But he could, however, get some ice time for the Wild in their final six games of the regular season. Its a bold move, but given the state of the defense (injuries, Jared Spurgeon continuing to cough up the puck, etc.), anything is worth a spot. Its also worth nothing the the team will be burning up a year off the ELC, making him a restricted free agent following the 2014-15 season.

Folin previously played for the Austin Bruins (the ones from Austin, Minnesota) in the NAHL, making him another Wild player with previous experience of playing hockey in Minnesota (ONE OF US!).

Welcome to the Team of 18,001, Christian Folin!

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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