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College standout Wellman signs with Wild

NHL.com @NHL
If all goes according to plan, the Minnesota Wild just got younger, stronger and deeper at the center position. And it didn't cost the team a draft pick or a player. Just money.

On Tuesday, the Wild signed free agent center Casey Wellman to an entry-level contract. Wellman, a two-year standout at the University of Massachusetts, arrived in Minnesota today, and could be in the Wild's lineup tonight against the Edmonton Oilers.

"Casey is a skilled, offensive forward, who shoots the puck," said Wild General Manager, Chuck Fletcher. "He was a highly sought after free agent, and we are excited he chose to sign with us."

The Wild also recalled defenseman Justin Falk from the Houston Aeros today. The fourth round pick in the 2007 draft could make his NHL debut tonight.

Wellman, a 6-foot-1, 185-pounder led UMass with 23 goals as a sophomore this season, which put him in a tie for sixth in the nation. His 45 points ranked second among the Minutemen. Wellman also ranked second on the team in scoring during his freshman season in 2008-2009, tallying 11 goals and 22 assists to lead all Hockey East freshmen, and earning All-Rookie Team honors.

Prior to joining UMass, the Brentwood, California native spent two seasons with the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders of the United States Hockey League. During that time, he totaled 69 points (30-39=69) in 118 games.

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