Minnesota Wild captain Mikko Koivu has been named the captain of Team Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
Koivu has long been a team leader on the international stage. He captained Finland’s U18 team at the IIHF U18 World Championship in 2001 and captained their IIHF World Junior Championship team the following year. He was first named an alternate captain of the men’s team at the 2008 IIHF World Championship.
The 2011 World Championship was the first time he was named captain of the men’s national team and he has served as Finland’s captain regularly since then. He most recently captained Finland at the 2016 World Championship, where they grabbed silver after falling to Canada in the gold medal match.
Additionally, Koivu is one of the few players in the tournament who also played in the 2004 World Cup. There, Finland fell in the championship game to Canada as well.
Last season, the 33-year-old played all 82 games for the Wild, scoring 17 goals and 56 points, which lead all players on the team.
The World Cup of Hockey opens play on September 17. The preliminary round will have Finland seeded into Group B with Russia, Sweden and Team North America. See the full Team Finland roster here.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.