Sitting at a gas station with no cell phone, belongings packed into an oversized hockey bag, Christian Folin waited on a coach he had never met. Just days earlier, his scholarship at Bemidji State University had been revoked due to his struggling English. The Swedish native was now heading south to play for the Austin Bruins of the NAHL after being released from the Fargo Force (USHL). Doubt and uncertainty surrounded his current situation. To the outside observer, Folin’s hopes of playing professional hockey seemed to be long gone. But Folin’s career was far from over. In fact, it was just getting started.
After arriving in Austin, Folin was determined to make an impact. Through hard work and dedication, Folin became an important asset to the team as a defensive play maker. His coaches provided him with the resources necessary to take the next step in his career; securing a scholarship at UMass-Lowell. Here Folin truly began to blossom, netting 42 points over 2 seasons while leading the Riverhawks to a Hockey East championship. His persistence paid off as Folin became one of the most sought after free agents entering the NHL. While all 30 professional teams pursued the talented Swede, the Minnesota Wild were able to secure his contract.
Throughout his journey to the NHL, Folin exemplified the qualities we strive to uphold at UNRL. Determination, resiliency, and belief led him to his dreams. We salute his character and inspire to uphold these same values, one day at a time.
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