Mikko Kousa, a 27-year old defenseman is the newest addition to Zagreb's Den. The Finnish born player landed in Zagreb on Monday, but training sessions and final medical examinations kept him from exploring the city on this own:
„Unfortunately I didn't have time so far to see anything more than the rink. We drove through town, though and at first glace, I liked what I saw. I look forward to having some time to explore it.“
While he eagerly awaited the return of the Bears and even more so to join the team and go out there on the ice and play, we took the chance that presented itself and let him do the introductions:
„I'm an offensive-defenseman. I love to join forwards on the rushes. I love this game and I am very happy and proud to be a Bear. I heard we have some great atmosphere in the stands and I can't wait to skate out there.“
How come you decided to come to Zagreb?
I wanted to play in the KHL and Zagreb expressed interes in me. I've followed the team, saw the way they play and I liked it a lot. The Bears are a very good team. I talked to some guys I know, and I'm very excited to be here and get started.
You'll have some familiar faces in the locker room?
Yes, I've played with Radek and Jesse and I know Tuukka from the national team.
You've played with Smolenak a few years back when you were in the KHL for a brief period?
Yes and a series of unfortunate events happened in my first try at the League. I played for Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, had some injuries, the team put up some losses and I decided to move on.
What was your impression of the League?
KHL is a very strong, world's top league. Every game is a hard-fought one, every point is hard to come by and you can't take anything for granted.
Out of all the years of playing, you have a Liiga Championship to show for. What was it like to win the title?
It was a long time ago. I played for HIFK and we had a very good team that year. I remember it was a tough and a demanding season, but that's mostly it. It's been a while and I'm hoping to change it soon.
You come from a family where professional sport is a part of life. Did that make it easier for you to become an athlete?
For sure. I had a lot of support from my whole family growing up. And I still do. They understand the demands of it and are always there to lend a hand. I chose hockey, and not football to be a bit of a rebel. But in whole honesty, I fell in love with the speed and the physicality of the game. I just love it.