Though the Wild have had a middling year, the team has several standout players—reliable goaltender Niklas Bäckström, hard-hitting fan favorite Cal Clutterbuck, and talented new addition Martin Havlát—but the squad's leader is undeniably Mikko Koivu. Management made as much clear this season by naming him the Wild's first permanent team captain, an honor the relatively young Finnish center absolutely deserves. He's a presence everywhere: on the bench and at both sides of the ice, able to make an impact on the game from seemingly any spot in the Xcel. Koivu is among the team's leading goal scorers, but just as importantly he makes plays develop, garnering him more assists than any of his teammates and more than almost anyone in the NHL.

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