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Factor Facts: Mikko Koivu

Wild captain is one of three finalists for the Selke Trophy to be awarded later this month

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers /

Factor Facts is an inside-the-numbers look at the Minnesota Wild's season that was. Today, examines forward Mikko Koivu and the impact he had on Minnesota's historic 2016-17 campaign:

When Wild captain Mikko Koivu signed a seven-year contract extension back in July of 2010, he was coming off a 71-point season and was one of the best young two-way players in the game. 

After a couple of lean years (at least offensively) early in the deal, Koivu has rebounded the past four years, continuing a trend of increased offense while still brandishing his elite defensive credentials.

Despite being one of the League's premier defensive forwards throughout his career, Koivu has rarely received his due until recently, when he was named a finalist for the Selke Trophy, given annually to the NHL's best defensive forward. 

In addition to his defensive accomplishments in 2016-17, Koivu turned back the clock offensively, as the 34-year-old had one of the best seasons of his 12-year career.

Now, as he enters the final year of that milestone contract extension, here's a look back at some of those numbers:


Never a big goal scorer, Koivu's 18 markers were the most he's had in a single season since he scored a career-high 22 goals in 2009-2010. If recent history is any indication, the captain could approach 20 goals for the fourth time in 2017-18, as Koivu has increased his goal total in each of the past four years.


After coming one assist shy of 40 a year ago, Koivu reached the plateau this season, dishing out 40 helpers for the fifth time in his career and first since he had 43 in 2013-14. Like his goal numbers, Koivu has seen his assist totals increase in each of the past three seasons. While a new career high in assists would be a lofty goal, it would also vault him into uncharted territory -- 50 assists in a single season, something accomplished just once in franchise history (Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 2007-08).


Koivu's plus-27 was the best mark of his career, easily surpassing the plus-13 he accrued in 2007-08 or the plus-10 he accumulated in 2011-12. A plus player in nine of his 12 seasons in the NHL (and even in another), Koivu's plus-27 this season was tied for eighth highest in the League, but, remarkably, was just fourth best on the Wild.


Long one of the top faceoff men in the NHL, Koivu won just over 55 percent of his draws this season. It was the third time in the past three years that Koivu won at least 55 percent of faceoffs and the fourth time in his career. Koivu's success in the faceoff circle was one of the big reasons why Minnesota was the sixth best team in the NHL when it came to winning draws (51.9 percent).


Nearly a quarter of Koivu's goals this season were of the game-winning variety, a number that was tied with Mikael Granlund, Zach Parise and Erik Haula for third on the team. The four game winners tied a career high, matching a number he has reached in three of the past four seasons.

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