March 12, 1983 |
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||222 lb (101 kg; 15 st 12 lb)|
|NHL Draft||6th overall, 2001
Mikko Sakari Koivu (born March 12, 1983) is a Finnish professional ice hockey center who currently serves as captain of the Minnesota Wild of the National Hockey League (NHL). Koivu was the captain for the gold-winning Finnish national team at the 2011 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships.
After playing in the Finnish junior leagues, Koivu began playing for TPS of the SM-liiga as a seventeen-year-old in 2000–01, the same team for which 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.
Koivu 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, 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, defenseman 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 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 Koivu the permanent 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.
On October 16, 2008, 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 2009, it was announced that Koivu would be on the cover of Finland's version of the video game, NHL 10. He was also voted the best Finn by NHL.com.
Koivu was named the first permanent captain in franchise history (the team rotated alternate captains for one more season) on October 20, 2009, and during the ensuing offseason signed a then franchise record seven-year, $47 million contract extension on July 16, 2010, which went into effect during the 2011–2012 season.
Koivu at the 2008 World Championships
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Finland|
|World Junior Championships|
|Bronze||2002 Czech Republic|
|World Junior U18 Championships|
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. These junior years also marked the start for Koivu'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 Selänne.
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. He was asked to join the team in 2009, and again in 2010, but he had to decline both times due to injuries. He was part of the team that won the bronze medal in Vancouver 2010. In 2011, Koivu was able to accept the invitation and led Finland, as the captain of the team, to its second gold medal at World Championships.
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 and is an alternate captain there. Their father is Jukka Koivu, the former head coach of TPS, for which both Saku and Mikko have played. A few of Koivu's best friends are his national team collaborator Tuomo Ruutu of the Carolina Hurricanes and Koivus former teammate Kurtis Foster. He spends summers with his family and friends in Turku, Finland, his hometown. Koivu owns a suite in the Xcel Energy Center, which he shares with teammate Niklas Backstrom and former teammate Nick Schultz. It is called M&N's Suite 4 Kids and they donate it to children with serious medical conditions. Koivu served in the Finnish Army during the summer of 2011 as a conscript. On October 14, 2011, Koivu donated two rooms to the Minnesota Children's Hospital epilepsy and neurological unit.
Records and awards
- 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).
Regular season and playoffs
- "Canucks defenseman Mattias Ohlund suspended four games for hit on Mikko Koivu". USA Today. 2007-11-18. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Wild names alternate captains". Minnesota Wild. 2008-10-09. Retrieved 2008-12-07.
- "Wild names Mikko Koivu October captain". Minnesota Wild. 2008-10-10. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
- "Wild names Koivu captain for November". Minnesota Wild. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- "Wild names Mikko Koivu captain for January". Minnesota Wild. 2009-01-02. Retrieved 2009-01-03.
- "Koivu has goal and four assists in Wild win". Associated Press. 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-10-16.[dead link]
- "Minnesota Wild signs Mikko Koivu to 7-year, $47M extension". USA Today. 2010-07-16. Retrieved 2010-09-16.
- "Red's Notebook". The Montreal Gazette. 2011-04-30. Retrieved 2011-05-09.
- Mikko Koivu at the Minnesota Wild Official website
- Mikko Koivu's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
|Minnesota Wild first round draft pick
|Minnesota Wild captain
|Minnesota Wild captain
October and November 2008
|Minnesota Wild captain
|Minnesota Wild captain
NOTE: In March and April 2009, and then for the start of October 2009, Mikko Koivu was captain as part of the Minnesota Wild's rotating captaincy. Early in the 2009-10 NHL season, the Wild ended the rotating captaincy and Koivu was named as the Wild's first permanent captain.