Interview with Mikko Koivu

By Robert Neuhauser

Mikko Koivu, a TPS Turku forward, is one of the brightest prospects
in the Minnesota Wild organization. Selected in the first round
of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Mikko now performs for Finland
at the WJC. Here are his answers at my questions, Mikko was kind
enough to answer them after the game against Russia.

When did you start playing hockey?

I was about five or six when I started playing.

Where was it?

In my hometown Turku, of course. I was born there, began my hockey
career in this city and I live there till now.

Who brought you to the game?

My brother Saku was one of the main forces, but besides him also
my friends influenced me a lot. We were playing hockey games in the
yard and it was a natural thing for me to play hockey.

Who is your hockey role model?

Saku teaches me a lot, he gave me many tips, but Peter Forsberg
is a great player, too. I watch him a lot.

Your favorite team in Europe?

I don´t have to take a long time to think about it. No doubt,
TPS Turku.

And in the NHL?

Another simply question, Minnesota Wild.

Were you happy that Wild has drafted you or would you prefer
to be selected by the Montreal Canadiens?

It would be great to have the opportunity to play with Saku, but
I´m extremly happy to be drafted by the Wild. It´s a great organization
and I think they can build a very strong squad quite soon. I have
my own play and it is good for me that I´m not always connected
with Saku.

When do you think you will be NHL ready?

I think I´m not ready yet, it will take some time. And I have
still to fulfill my duty in the army. But in a few years I can
make the Wild team.

How would you describe your game?

I would say that I know what to do with the puck and that I score
and pass equally well. But I also need to get stronger to be
ready for the NHL game.

What is your biggest success in hockey so far?

I would mention three things. The silver medal from the last WJC,
it was a great experience to play there, then the gold medal
from the Under-18 WJC and the championship title with TPS Turku
in the SM-Liiga.

Did you have any serious injury in your career?

No, I haven´t.

What do you do in your free time?

I like to watch movies, I´m a huge fan of movies. I also like
to hang out with my friends. School duties take also a lot
of my time.

Thank you for taking time.

You´re welcome.