Updated: January 12th, 2012 12:58pm
Wild's Mikko Koivu named to NHL All-Star Game for first time

Wild's Mikko Koivu named to NHL All-Star Game for first time

by Judd Zulgad
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Mikko Koivu long has been considered one of the Minnesota Wild's best players.

But until Thursday he never has been picked for an All-Star Game. That changed as the center was selected to play in the Jan. 29 contest at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

In his seventh season, Koivu leads the Wild with 33 points (nine goals, 24 assists) in 39 games. He has led the Wild in scoring the past three seasons and is considered an outstanding two-way player. Koivu is a plus-9 this season.

"Of course it's an honor," Koivu told the Wild website. "You look at the players who are in there, obviously, and get to pick from this team. It's a big honor. That's my word to describe it. It's a big honor to represent the Minnesota Wild."

Once again, the NHL will hold a draft to split up the 36 players picked for the All-Star Game into two teams. Yet-to-be-named captains will select the sides on Jan. 27. Each team will have 12 forwards, six defensemen and three goalies.

The All-Star weekend will be Jan. 28-29, with the SuperSkills competition held on Jan. 28.

Judd Zulgad is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays and "Saturday Morning SportsTalk" from 10 a.m. to noon on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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In this story: Mikko Koivu