Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 1/24/12

PITTSBURGH - FEBRUARY 1: Forward Nick Johnson #42 of the Pittsburgh Penguins trips over the stick of forward Jason Pominville #29 of the Buffalo Sabres in the third period on February 1, 2010 at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh defeated Buffalo 5-4. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS The Wilds Mike Yeo is just one year into his NHL coaching career, but hes already known for his ability to communicate effectively with his players. Sometimes that means one-on-one meetings with players before, during and after practice. Other times Yeo includes the entire group, and Monday was that kind of day. After about an hour of practice, Yeo gathered his team in a circle and told the group that rookie winger Nick Johnson would be heading to Ottawa to take part in All-Star weekend. Johnson will represent the Wild as one of 13 rookies competing in Saturday night's skills competition. This news coincided with the acknowledgement center Mikko Koivu would miss the All-Star Game with a shoulder injury. "Mikko is doing well, but two weeks out from the injury, it's just too much of a stretch and not realistic for him to play," general manager Chuck Fletcher said of Koivu, who has been replaced in Sunday's game by Edmonton's Jordan Eberle. Johnson was plucked off waivers from Pittsburgh by Fletcher shortly before the regular season and is tied for 10th in rookie scoring with 16 points in 44 games. The rookie had heard rumblings he might be taking part in the skills competition a few days ago, but they didn't become official until Monday. "I feel pretty blessed," he said of his season. "I thought I was going to the minors to battle it out for a while, and instead I get the opportunity to come up here. It's a dream come true.'' Yeo expressed excitement for Johnson and disappointment for Koivu. "This is just tremendous for Nick (Johnson), Yeo said. He was worked extremely hard all season, and it's nice to see him get rewarded. The timing of Mikko's injury was brutal. It really is a shame that he has to miss this weekend's festivities because there is a guy that was due some national attention."
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