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Mikko Koivu

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Mikko Koivu
Mikkokoivu.png
Born March 12, 1983 (1983-03-12) (age 34)
Turku, Finland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Minnesota Wild
TPS (SM-Liiga)
National team Flag of Finland.svg Finland
NHL Draft 6th overall, 2001
Minnesota Wild
Playing career 2000–present

Mikko Koivu (born Mikko Sakari Koivu on March 12, 1983) is a Finnish professional ice hockey center and captain of the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing careerEdit

After playing in the Finnish junior leagues, Mikko began playing for TPS of the SM-liiga as a 17-year-old in 2000–01, the same team for which his older brother Saku also once played. He was selected 6th overall in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft by the Minnesota Wild and continued to play with TPS Turku for three more seasons.

Mikko moved to North America in the 2004–05 to play for Minnesota's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros, while that NHL season was canceled. The next season, he made his NHL debut with the Wild, scoring 21 points in his rookie season.

In 2006–07, Mikko improved to a career-high 20 goals, 34 assists and 54 points.

Injuries slowed him down in his third season; in a game against the Vancouver Canucks, defenseman Mattias Ohlund retaliated to an unpenalized elbow from Mikko and slashed him which broke a bone in his leg. Mattias was given a four game suspension and Mikko missed 24 games.

Before the 2008–09 season started, Mikko was announced as a permanent alternate captain for the entire season along with teammate Andrew Brunette assuming they were not captain for the month (the Wild captaincy was rotated among the players on a monthly basis, each season), but Koivu started the 2008–09 season as team captain for the months of October and November.

Though rumors swirled that then-Wild coach Jacques Lemaire was close to ending the captain rotation and naming Mikko the permanent captain, he was replaced by Kim Johnsson in December, and went back to his role as alternate captain.

In January of 2009, Mikko was once again honored with the Wild captaincy after only a month's pause.

On October 16, 2008, Mikko tied a Wild franchise record for most assists in a game with four against the Florida Panthers. He also added a goal for a career-high five-point game as the Wild defeated Florida 6–2. In July of 2009, it was announced that Mikko would be on the cover of Finland's version of the video game "NHL 10" and was also voted the best Finn by NHL.com.

On October 20, 2009, Mikko was named the first permanent captain in franchise history (the team rotated alternate captains for one more season).

On July 16, 2010 during the offseason, he signed a then franchise record seven-year, $47 million contract extension which went into effect during the 2011–2012 season.

On January 12, 2012, Mikko was selected to his first NHL All-Star game, but was unable to participate due to injury.

On March 18, 2014, he recorded three points in a 6–0 win over the New York Islanders, in the process becoming the Wild's all-time leading scorer with 438 points in 588 games.

On February 28, 2016, Mikko surpassed Nick Schultz's 743 games played with the Minnesota Wild to own this franchise record as well.

International playEdit

Medal record
Men's ice hockey
Competitor for Template:FIN
Olympic Games
Silver 2006 Turin
Bronze 2010 Vancouver
World Championships
Gold 2011 Bratislava
Silver 2007 Moscow
Bronze 2006 Riga
Bronze 2008 Halifax
World Cup
Silver 2004 Canada
World Junior Championships
Silver 2001 Moscow
Bronze 2002 Czech Republic
World Junior U18 Championships
Gold 2000 Switzerland
Bronze 2001 Finland

As a junior, Mikko competed in two World Junior U18 Championships, capturing gold in 2000 and bronze in 2001. He did double duty in 2001, also participating in the World Junior Championships, earning a silver medal while contributing 3 assists.

Mikko played in his second World Juniors the following year in 2002, tallying 5 points in 6 games as Finland captured another silver medal. It also marked his fourth and final medal in junior international play.

These junior years also marked the start for Mikko's long-time collaboration in the national team with Tuomo Ruutu with whom he has been often paired as an effective playmaker-scorer duo ever since, in similar manner as his big brother usually finds himself together with Teemu Selanne.

Before making his North American début in the AHL, Mikko competed in the 2004 World Cup as Finland finished runner-up to Team Canada. Two years later, he appeared in the 2006 Winter Olympics. He failed to register a point as Finland finished with a silver medal.

Beginning in 2006, Mikko appeared in three consecutive World Championships. He helped Finland to a bronze medal in 2006 with 4 points, then matched his output the following year with another 4 points in 2007 as Finland improved to a silver medal.

In the 2008 World Championships, Mikko became a key contributor, tallying an international career-high 9 points in 9 games as Finland won the bronze medal. He was asked to join the team in 2009, and again in 2010, but he had to decline both times due to injuries.

Mikko was part of the team that won the bronze medal in Vancouver 2010. In 2011, he was able to accept the invitation and led Finland as the captain of the team, to its second gold medal at World Championships.

Mikko was also selected to represent Finland at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but was forced to withdraw from the squad due to an injury sustained in the NHL.

Personal LifeEdit

On or off the ice, Mikko is known to be extremely competitive. His older brother Saku Koivu is the alternate captain of the Anaheim Ducks. He used to be the captain of the Montreal Canadiens.

Mikko and Saku's father is Jukka Koivu, who was the former head coach of TPS for which the brothers have played. A few of Mikko's best friends are his national team collaborator Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes and his former teammate Kurtis Foster.

Miko spends summers with his family and friends in his hometown of Turku, Finland. He owns a suite in the Xcel Energy Center which he shares with teammate Niklas Backstrom and former teammate Nick Schultz.

The suite is called M&N's Suite 4 Kids and they donate it to children with serious medical conditions. In the summer of 2011, Mikko served in the Finnish Army as a conscript. On October 14, 2011, Mikko donated two rooms to the epilepsy & neurological unit of the Minnesota Children's Hospital.

RecordsEdit

  • Minnesota Wild franchise record for most assists in a game (tied)-(4): (October 16, 2008 against the Florida Panthers and again on January 2, 2011 against the Phoenix Coyotes).
  • First ever permanent captain for the Minnesota Wild (October 20, 2009).
  • Selected to play in 2012 NHL All-Star Game, but unable to play due to injury.
  • World championship 2011 (as captain of team Finland).

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 TPS SM-l 21 0 1 1 2
2001–02 TPS SM-l 48 4 3 7 34 8 0 3 3 4
2002–03 TPS SM-l 37 7 13 20 20 7 2 2 4 6
2003–04 TPS SM-l 45 6 24 30 36 13 1 7 8 8
2004–05 Houston Aeros AHL 67 20 28 48 47 5 1 0 1 2
2005–06 Minnesota Wild NHL 64 6 15 21 40
2006–07 Minnesota Wild NHL 82 20 34 54 58 5 1 0 1 4
2007–08 Minnesota Wild NHL 57 11 31 42 42 6 4 1 5 4
2008–09 Minnesota Wild NHL 79 20 47 67 66
2009–10 Minnesota Wild NHL 80 22 49 71 50
2010–11 Minnesota Wild NHL 71 17 45 62 50
2011–12 Minnesota Wild NHL 55 12 32 44 28
2012–13 TPS SM-l 10 5 5 10 16
2012–13 Minnesota Wild NHL 48 11 26 37 26 5 0 0 0 8
2013–14 Minnesota Wild NHL 65 11 43 54 24 13 1 6 7 10
2014–15 Minnesota Wild NHL 80 14 34 48 38 10 1 4 5 2
NHL totals 681 144 356 500 422 39 7 11 18 28

External linksEdit

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