BRAMPTON, ONTARIO – The Brampton Beast, ECHL affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, are proud to announce that rugged defenseman and Burlington, Ontario native Mike Folkes has signed a Standard Player Contract (SPC) and will be patrolling the Beast blue line for the upcoming 2017-18 ECHL season.
Folkes, 28, will be entering his second season with the Beast. In 58 games played last season, Folkes established himself as one of the league’s top shutdown defensemen. In addition to his stellar defensive play, he contributed two goals and four points with 34 penalty minutes.
The 6’1” lefty played an important role in the club’s inaugural Kelly Cup Playoff run during the 2016-17 season. In five games played, he stepped up his physical play and earned one assist and 15 penalty minutes.
His experience with the club during their most recent playoff run played a big role in his decision to return to the Beast for another season.
“I’m super excited to be back with the Beast,” Folkes said.
“After getting knocked out last year, I feel like we have some unfinished business. I definitely wanted to come back and go further in the playoffs. Hopefully we can bring home a Kelly cup title this time. I think we’re going to have a solid core group and hopefully we can make some noise this season.”
Prior to joining the Beast last season, Folkes enjoyed a season overseas in the Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL) as the assistant captain of the Manchester Storm. In 47 games played, Folkes scored one goal and chipped in with four assists and 79 penalty minutes.
Coming into the 2017-18 season, Folkes has appeared in a total of 140 ECHL contests with the Beast and the Utah Grizzlies, amassing a total of three goals, 13 assists and 160 penalty minutes.
Before joining the professional ranks, he appeared in 35 games for Ohio State University from 2008 to 2011 before joining Carleton University, where he added another 55 games and 14 points (4G, 10A) to his resume from 2011 to 2013.
According to Beast Head Coach Colin Chaulk, Folkes will be relied upon for his size, strength and defensive abilities and explains that his input isn’t best measured on the scoresheet.
“He’s a guy who is willing to do all the things that nobody wants to do,” Chaulk said of the returning blueliner.
“He’s the ultimate team guy and he can play in all situations. He’s a great penalty killer and is someone the guys rally around. We’re excited to have him back.”