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Mikko Sakari Koivu (born March 12, 1983 in Turkumarker, Finlandmarker) is a Finnishmarker professional ice hockey centre and team captain for the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL).

Playing career

After playing in the Finnishmarker junior leagues, Koivu began playing for TPS of the SM-liiga as a seventeen-year-old in 2000–01. 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.

Koivu moved to North America in the 2004–05 to play for Minnesota's AHL affiliate, the Houston Aeros. The next season, he made his NHL debut with the Wild, scoring 21 points in his rookie season. In 2006–07, Koivu 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, defenceman Mattias Öhlund retaliated to an unpenalized elbow from Koivu and slashed him, breaking a bone in Koivu's leg. Ohlund was given a four game suspension and Koivu missed 24 games.

Before the 2008–09 season started, Koivu was announced as a permanent alternate captain for the entire season along with teammate Andrew Brunette , assuming they weren't captain for the month. But Koivu started the 2008–09 season as team captain for the months of October and November. Though rumors swirled that former Wild coach Jacques Lemaire was close stopping rotating the captaincy and naming Koivu the permantant captain, he was replaced by Kim Johnsson in December, and went back to his role as alternate captain. In January 2009, Koivu was once again honored with the Wild captaincy after only a month's pause. Despite the team not officially giving up on rotating captaincy, on season 2008-09 Koivu was pretty much the de facto captain of the Wild.

On October 16, Koivu 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 Koivu would be on the cover of Finland'smarker version of the video game, NHL 10. He was also voted the best Finnmarker by NHL.com.

The Wild named Mikko Koivu the first permanent captain in franchise history on 20 October, 2009. Previously, the Wild captaincy was rotated among the players on a monthly basis, each season.

International play

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

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

Beginning in 2006, Koivu 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, Koivu became a key contributor, tallying an international career-high 9 points in 9 games as Finland won the bronze medal.

Koivu holds the distinction of medaling in every international competition he has participated in with Finland.

Records



Career statistics

    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
NHL totals 282 57 127 184 206 11 5 1 6 8


Personal

On or off the ice, Koivu is known to be extremely competitive. His older brother, Saku Koivu was the longtime captain of the Montreal Canadiens, but now plays with the Anaheim Ducks. Their father is Jukka Koivu, the former head coach of TPS. Koivu's best friend is Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes. He spends summers with his family and friends in Turku, Finland, his hometown.

References



See also



External links




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