Mikko Koivu
Mikko Koivu
36-Year-Old CenterC
Minnesota Wild
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The veteran center was on pace for 50 points before a torn ACL cost him a staggering 34 games last season. Koivu has settled into his second-line center role nicely, and with the opportunity to gain a rapport with speedy wingers Kevin Fiala and Jason Zucker this offseason, the 35-year-old could see his production maintain a pace of at least a half-point-per-game. If coach Bruce Boudreau decides he needs to trade experience and craftiness for youth and speed on the power play, though, Koivu could be in trouble. Until that day comes, the Finn seems primed for double-digit goals and another trip to 40-point land. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a two-year extension with the Wild worth $11 million in Sept. 2017.
Posts assist in season opener
CMinnesota Wild
October 4, 2019
Koivu had an assist in 16:39 of ice time in Thursday's season-opening loss at Nashville.
Koivu played his first regular-season game since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus in his right knee in early February. He centered the Wild's second line and looked to be back to full speed.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
The veteran center remains a reliable contributor into his 30s thanks to his prominent role with the man advantage, but last year's 45 points were his lowest total since the lockout, and his 31 assists were his lowest total ever during a season in which he played at least 70 games. Koivu has settled into a second-line role, and while having Charlie Coyle and Zach Parise as linemates is hardly a lousy assignment, the 35-year-old would see his production bottom out if at some point coach Bruce Boudreau decides he needs to trade experience and craftiness for youth and speed on the power play. Until that day comes, though, Koivu seems a good bet for another campaign with double-digit goals and 40-plus points.
Despite being 34 years old, Koivu is coming off one of the best seasons of his career with 58 points and a career-high plus-27 rating, thanks in no small part to a breakout season by new linemate Mikael Granlund. Koivu actually started a large number of his shifts in the defensive zone, which makes his offensive contributions all the more amazing and no doubt helped him finish third in the Selke Trophy voting. He’s showing no signs of slowing down, having averaged at least 19 minutes per game since 2007-08, and the Finnish pivot will continue collecting points as long as his fellow countryman keeps depositing his slick passes into the net. Even though he hasn't cracked 20 goals since 2009-10, Koivu has been one of the WIld's top point getters for the last decade-plus, and that can be expected to continue in 2017-18.
Koivu’s been a member of the Wild organization since being taken No. 6 overall in 2011, and he enters his age-33 season on the still-productive back end of a very good career as a puck distributor, much of that on the top line. He’s actually coming off one of his strongest recent seasons, with 17 goals and 56 points representing his most prolific production since 2010-11. Koivu also hit double-digit power-play goals for the first time and 20 power-play points for the first time since that same 2010-11 campaign. The Wild brought in Eric Staal this offseason to take on top-six minutes at center, but Koivu’s aging much more gracefully, meaning he’ll probably retain the first-line role and post another season around 50 points.
The longest-tenured member of the Wild, Koivu has been through the best of times and the worst of times in Minnesota. Now 32 years old, Koivu had another solid, if unspectacular season centering the team’s top line. Over 80 games -- his highest total since 2009-10 -- Koivu scored 14 goals and added 34 assists. His work on the power play was also notable, as he added four goals and 11 assists with the man advantage. Altogether, the 14 goals were the most he’s recorded since 2010-11, and it qualified as a somewhat of a surprise since he’s seen his shooting percentage dip below 8.0 percent in each of his last two seasons. As a forward who logs nearly 20 minutes of ice time per game, Koivu still provides value, even if his days as a 60-plus-point scorer are clearly in the rearview mirror.
Tales of Koivu's decline are largely overblown, but his totals are indisputably decreasing. His goal total took a dive last season, partially a result of a 7.5 shooting percentage, producing his lowest output in that category since his rookie campaign. That should at least bounce back a little. Despite that, he still posted 43 assists and averaged 20:56 of ice time a night, seventh-best among NHL forwards. Koivu is going to get solid power-play time and will have two stellar wings playing with him after Minnesota increased their top-six depth with the addition of Thomas Vanek. Koivu should find his way into your draft in the middle rounds, making him a great find if you’re grabbing him after that. Don't reach for him.
Despite an overall improvement in the Minnesota offense, Koivu's output on offense stayed close to his career averages in 2012-13. He's never been a prolific goal scorer, but puts up consistent assist totals and power play points (15th in power play assists in the NHL last season). He also played a full season after missing time with injuries the past two seasons. He'll center Minnesota's top line with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville, and there's plenty of value in that.
Various injuries and a slow start conspired to limit Koivu’s effectiveness last season, but the crafty pivot still managed 44 points in 55 games despite stretches of futility. You generally know what you’re going to get with Koivu: a plethora of assists and a handful of goals. The difference this season is that he will have Zach Parise, a consistent 30-goal scorer, on his wing. Koivu’s value certainly sees a bump with his new teammate, just don’t overpay expecting a monster season. Another 60-point season is certainly possible for the consistent center.
The 28-year-old Koivu has been an integral member of the Wild ever since the team used a sixth overall draft pick to nab him in 2001. Fantasy owners hungry for steady centers should know that Koivu has accumulated 200 points (59 G, 141 A) in 230 games over the past three seasons. But there is some degree of risk investing in the Finn, as he underwent surgical procedures on his right knee and shoulder after the 2009-10 season, and missed a handful of games last year due to a finger injury. Fortunately, he was able to finish out the regular season on a high note with five assists in the last two games. If he can coexist with newcomers Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi like we think he will then there is no reason why a healthy Koivu can't crack the 70-point barrier for the second time in his career.
Koivu scored a career-high 71 points last season and has become the focal point of Minnesota's offense. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder to repair a torn labrum and arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after the end of the season, so check on his health during the preseason.
On a low scoring team, Koivu's 67 points were far and away the top point total. Saku's younger brother has come into his own as a player, and with Marty Havlat likely on his wing, he could add some more assists to his name this season.
Koivu made a big improvement in his second full season, scoring 54 points and with nine power-play goals. He's become a favorite of head coach Jacques Lemaire for his savvy play and defense. He should continue to see his role grow as a result and could take another leap in his production. He's also valuable to the Wild in the face-off department, as he led the club in draws won (583) last season.
Minnesota's first-round draft pick in 2001 (sixth overall), Koivu seemed to be the kind of smart player that head coach Jacque Lemaire loves and he started strong last season and got time on the power play. But after a December slump and January knee injury, he wasn't productive in the second half. See how he's doing early this season as he could rebound and be a nice sleeper.
The brother of Saku was the sixth overall pick in the 2001 draft, but played in Finland until last season. Koivu scored 20 goals and 48 points in 67 games for Houston of the AHL despite missing a month because of appendicitis. He could make the final Wild roster and could gain a prominent role. He's got sleeper potential.
More Fantasy News
Ready to return
CMinnesota Wild
September 20, 2019
Koivu (knee) will draw into the lineup for Saturday's preseason game against Colorado.
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Set to scrimmage Monday
CMinnesota Wild
September 14, 2019
Coach Bruce Boudreau said Koivu (knee) will scrimmage Monday, Michael Russo of The Athletic reports.
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Will be eased into work
CMinnesota Wild
September 14, 2019
Koivu (knee) will be eased into practice after undergoing surgery for his torn ACL in February, Michael Russo of The Athletic reports.
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Cleared to practice
CMinnesota Wild
September 12, 2019
Koivu (knee) has been cleared to practice ahead of training camp, but he probably won't be in the lineup for Minnesota's first few preseason contests, Michael Russo of The Athletic reports.
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Focused on Opening Night
CMinnesota Wild
August 22, 2019
Koivu (knee) is skating in Finland and will be ready for training camp, but may not suit up during the preseason in order to prepare for Opening Night versus Nashville on Oct. 3, Jessi Pierce of The Athletic reports.
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