As they attempt to keep themselves afloat in the playoff race while also continuing to build for the future, the Minnesota Wild announced the signing of college free agent defenseman Christian Folin to a two-year, entry-level deal on Monday night. Folin’s collegiate season at Massachusetts-Lowell ended with a loss to Boston College in the NCAA Tournament this past weekend, and he will reportedly join the Wild in Chicago as they get ready for the next game on their current road trip Thursday night against the Blackhawks.
Folin had 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 41 games for UMass-Lowell this season and was a highly sought-after prospect with a lot of teams interested in signing him, so he is a great signing for Minnesota and he can bring much-needed size (6’3″, 210 lbs.) to the team’s blue line. The 23-year old native of Sweden has some history playing hockey for a team that calls the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” home, having spent two seasons before college with the Austin (Minn.) Bruins of the North American Hockey League.
Since he was signed after the March 5 trade deadline, Folin will not be eligible for the postseason if the Wild make it there. But they can get a very good look at him over the final six regular season games, and he could prove he can fill one of their primary needs going forward before the offseason comes.
But it’s not certain that Folin will see the ice at all in game action as the regular season comes to an end, particularly if coach Mike Yeo goes into self-preservation mode with a playoff berth and his job on the line. In that situation Folin may fall by the wayside in favor of defensemen that have been with the team all season, which I think would be a mistake and may seal Yeo’s fate if the move is combined with the Wild missing the playoffs.