SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Minnesota Wild
President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed center Mikko Koivu
(pronounced MEE-koh KOY-voo) and defenseman Martin Skoula, each to a multi-year contract.
“Mikko came to the NHL at a mature age and in just two NHL seasons has displayed the attributes we value in our young players: a reliable and visible work ethic, a commitment to getting better and the ability to take on more responsibility on the ice,” said Risebrough.
“Marty was an important part of our Jennings-winning defense last season,” said Risebrough. “We wanted him back so we can compete for it again and try to build off that success as a team.”
Koivu, 24 (3/12/83), set new career-highs in every major statistical category in 2006-07 recording 54 points (20-34=54), 58 penalty minutes (PIM) and a +6 rating while appearing in all 82 games with Minnesota. He led the Wild in faceoffs won (583) and faceoffs taken (1,147), ranked third in assists, tied for third in power play goals (9), tied for fourth in goals and fifth in scoring. Koivu finished tied for first in the NHL with eight shootout goals (8-for-15) and tied for second with four game-deciding goals. The native of Turku, Finland recorded 11 multi-point games and his 33-point increase from 2005-06 to 2006-07 was the second largest point increase among players who appeared in at least 60 games last season, trailing only Martin St. Louis’ 41-point increase. Koivu has tallied 75 points (26-49=75) and 98 PIM in 146 career NHL games in two seasons with the Wild.
He was originally selected by Minnesota in the first round (sixth overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
Skoula, 27 (10/28/79), collected 15 assists, 36 penalty minutes (PIM) and a +9 rating in 81 games with Minnesota in 2006-07 while averaging 20:14 of ice time. He ranked fourth on the team in blocked shots (81) and fifth in hits (73) and plus/minus rating. Skoula played in his 500th career NHL contest vs. Colorado (11/18/06) and logged a season-high 29:01 in ice time and +3 rating vs. Chicago (1/14/07). The 6-foot-3, 215-pound defenseman has tallied 158 points (34-124=158), 282 PIM and a +41 rating in 563 career NHL games during seven seasons with Colorado, Anaheim, Dallas and Minnesota.
The native of Litomerice, Czech Republic was acquired by the Wild along with Shawn Belle
from the Dallas Stars
in exchange for Willie Mitchell
and a second round pick (Nico Sacchetti) in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft on March 9, 2006. Skoula was originally selected by Colorado in the first round (17th overall) of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.