|Born||March 12, 1983 |
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)|
|NHL Draft||6th overall, 2001|
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 career[edit | edit source]
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 play[edit | edit source]
|Men's ice hockey|
|Competitor for Template:FIN|
|World Junior Championships|
|Bronze||2002 Czech Republic|
|World Junior U18 Championships|
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 Life[edit | edit source]
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.
Records[edit | edit source]
- 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 statistics[edit | edit source]
Regular season and playoffs[edit | edit source]