Following their inaugural season, the Wild held the 6th pick in the 2001 Entry Draft. With that 6th pick, the Wild chose TPS forward Mikko Koivu. And the Wild struck gold when they drafted Saku's younger brother (Kudos to Tampa Bay, Florida and Anaheim for drafting Alexandr Svitov, Stephen Weiss, and Stanislav Chistov respectively ahead of the Wild drafting Koivu).
It took him 5 years before he finally made it to the Wild, but once he made it, it became very clear why the Wild drafted Koivu.
Koivu uses his elite vision and hands to set up the guys on his wing to score. He is a pass first guy, but when the situation calls for it, he can make a nice highlight goal himself. Unluckily for Koivu, he has spent most of his years, playing without a great forward on his wing (Until Heatley joined him last year), so his stats have really yet to fully get to where they can be.
(I didnt need to put this video in here, but Greenlay's pylon comment is awesome)
But more importantly, Koivu has been a tremendous team leader. He was named team captain a couple of times under the Jacques Lemaire system, but then in 2009, he was named the first permanent captain in team history. It is a position he still holds to this day, and will more than likely not lose it for as long as he plays in Minnesota.
In the 2008 playoffs, Koivu stepped up and scored 4 goals, in the team's 6 games played, including a go ahead goal with just under 2 minutes left in Game 2. But, since then, the Wild have yet to return to the playoffs (Ironically, most of that time has been under Koivu's captaincy). But give him another chance, and he will shine in the Stanley Cup Playoffs again.
Mikko Koivu, comes in at #2 in Wild history, in terms of the best player. But, he is the greatest leader this team has ever had.
Come Back tomorrow and see who comes in at #1
#10-Dwayne Roloson/Manny Fernandez
Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell