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One of the NHL’s best defensive forwards for a decade, Wild captain Mikko Koivu, at age 34, was finally recognized with his first Selke Trophy nomination Wednesday. He’s the second finalist for the best defensive forward hardware in Wild history (Wes Walz, 2003).

Anaheim’s Ryan Kesler and Boston’s Patrice Bergeron are the other finalists. The winner will be announced at the June 21 NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas.

Koivu tied for third place among NHL forwards in plus-minus with a career-high plus-27. He ranked fifth in faceoff wins (938) and was sixth in faceoffs taken (1,699) for a winning percentage of 55.2 percent. Koivu set a career high in blocked shots (65) and led all Wild forwards in average ice time per game (19:06) and average shorthanded time (1:49).

MICHAEL RUSSO