Bern, the Swiss Champions, found the replacement for Adam Almqvist… we’re talking about Miika Koivisto, gold medalist with Finland at the last Worlds played in Slovakia. Moreover, he won the Finnish Liiga in 2018 with Kärpat. And again… always in the Liiga, he was once named in the “All Star Team”, once he was awarded the Pekka Rautakallio award as best defenseman of the league, once he was the defenseman with most points and twice he was the defenseman with the highest number of assists.
The numbers and the facts, say that he’s a Champions, with a captial C. Let’s get to know more about him…
Date of Birtht: 20 luglio 1990
Miika Koivisto was born in Vaasa (Finland) on July 20th, 1990… Vaasa is a city of approximately 70’000 located on the west coast of Finland and is the home of Vaasan Sport…
And it’s right for the Vaasan Sport – or simply “Sport” – that Miika Koivisto started to play ice hockey. At “Sport” in fact, Mika played in the youth organization… and he was even Captain of the U18 and Alternate Captain of the U20… until when, the big day of the debut with the first team came during the 2010-11 season. The following year, Miika Koivisto played the whole season with the first team, helping it to win the “Mestis” league (second tier of Finnish hockey), and then moved to the SM-Liiga (top tier of Finnish hockey).
KALPA… AND A CONTINUOUS GROWTH
KalPa signed Miika Koivisto on the eve of the 2012-13 season… and Miika stayed in Kuopio for three seasons before changing several teams in the Liiga. He trasferred to Lukko for the 2015-16 season, then he moved to Jukurit and finally he signed for Kärpät… where he helped the team to win the title in 2018!
At that point, Miika Koivisto’s qualities were known to all… and the player attracted interest from abroad. And so, on May 2018, Miika signed a one-year contract with Dynamo Moscow in the KHL. His Russian adventure, however, lasted only one season. That’s because a couple of weeks ago he agreed terms with Swiss Champions SC Bern… who he will join as “World Champion” since he won the gold medal with Finland at the last Worlds!
Miika Koivisto is considered to be a great two-ways defenseman with good offensive skills.
In order to get to know more about him though, we got in touch with someone who’s been following him from close. We had therefore the pleasure to meet Miika Arponen, freelance hockey writer and founder of “FinnProspects”. Below, his impression on Miika Koivisto.
I’ve been following Miika Koivisto mostly during the games he played with Finland, and I’d say that Miika’s strengths definitely are his skating and offensive smartness. He is very mobile and joins eagerly in rushes.
On the counterside his weakness is the physical game. Although he has a decent size and is quite strong, he could still be meaner and use his body more. In other words, he could play some more physical game. He relies a lot on his skating and stickhandling when defending.
As for the trivia side, Koivisto holds the Liiga’s record for “most assists in a season without scoring a goal” with 18 in 2014-15.
Thank you very much Miika!
Bern’s defensive system is second to no one in Switzerland. We’re pretty sure that Miika will fit very well on it. Moreover, his ability to become dangerous in the offensive zone can become a great weapon at Jalonen’s disposal. Miika is a good skater and a player who can use the stick well… those are great characteristics for players who come to play in Switzerland. Moreover, he’s a winner who joins a winning team. Is it gonna be the perfect wedding then? Time will tell… Miika is undrafted and the impression is that he’s one of that kind of a player who needed some time to become a great one. The last thing, however, is not necessarily a bad one.
Welcome to Switzerland, Miika!
* The first coach who gave Miika Koivisto a chance was… the former SC Bern, and current EHC Biel-Bienne’s coach, Anti Törmänen! The latter in fact, was “Sport” coach – other than director of hockey operation – during the 2010-11 season, when Miika Koivisto made his first team debut.
* Over the years in Finland, Miika Koivisto played alongside several players we know quite well over here in Switzerland… we’re talking about the former Gottéron’s players Michal Birner, Sakari Salminen and Charles Bertrand. Moreover, he even played – always in Finland – with Jukka Hentunen (former Gottéron and Lugano) and Aaron Gagnon (currently at Langnau). Last season in Russia, on the other hand, he played with Patrik Zackrisson (former Lugano).
* Miika Koivisto was playing during the 2018 Worlds quarterfinals, when Switzerland earned a 3-2 win against Finland. On that occasion, Miika had an assist!