Wild add to stable of young players with college free-agent D Folin

Massachusetts-Lowell defenseman Christian Folin had four goals and 16 assists in 41 games for UMass-Lowell this past season.

Elise Amendola/AP

The NHL Draft is months away, but the Minnesota Wild continue to add young talent.

Minnesota signed defenseman Christian Folin, a college free agent from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, to a two-year, entry-level contract. Folin, 23, was considered by many as the top undrafted college free agent available.

Folin (6-foot-3 and 215 pounds) had four goals and 16 assists in 41 games for UMass-Lowell this past season. The right-handed shooter had two power-play goals, a plus-10 rating and 31 penalty minutes.

"Christian is a big, mobile defenseman who has a heavy shot and moves the puck well," Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr said in a release. "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."

In the past month, Minnesota has signed 2013 second-round defenseman Gustav Olofsson, 2013 third-round forward Kurtis Gabriel, and free-agent junior forward Brady Brassart to entry-level contracts.

Folin is expected to join the Wild in Chicago on its current road trip, which ends Thursday against the Blackhawks. Folin is eligible to play in the final six games of the regular season for Minnesota, but can’t play in the playoffs.

A native of Sweden, Folin was a sophomore at UMass-Lowell and helped his team win the Hockey East Tournament before losing to Boston College last weekend in the NCAA tournament. He had six goals and 15 assists in 38 games as a freshman for the River Hawks.

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