– Ron Francis
, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract with forward Sebastian Aho
(AH-hoe). The deal will pay Aho $832,500 in the NHL or $70,000 in the American Hockey League (AHL) for all three seasons, and he receives a signing bonus of $277,500.
“Sebastian is regarded as one of the top prospects in hockey and is ready to begin his North American career,” said Francis. “He had a tremendous season as an 18-year-old playing against men in Finland’s top league, and was outstanding in international competitions including the recent World Championship. He will play an important role for the Hurricanes moving forward.”
Aho, 18, led Karpat of Finland’s top professional league in scoring in 2015-16, with 45 points (20g, 25a) in 45 games. Among all Liiga skaters, he ranked tied for fourth in goals, ninth in points and tied for 11th in assists, despite playing in just 45 of his team’s 60 games because of time spent with the Finnish national junior team. The Rauma, Finland, native was tied for third among league skaters in scoring during the playoffs with 15 points (4g, 11a) in 14 games.
Selected by the Hurricanes in the second round, 35th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft, Aho (5’11”, 172 lbs.) has totaled 59 points (24g, 35a) in 78 career games in Liiga for Karpat and Assat Pori. He scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 7 during Liiga’s Kanada-malja final in 2015 to give Karpat its second consecutive league championship.
Aho has represented Finland in a number of international tournaments, including the recent IIHF World Championship, where he notched seven points (3g, 4a) in 10 games to help Finland capture silver. He led Finland to the gold medal at the 2016 World Junior Championship, ranking second in the tournament in scoring with 14 points (5g, 9a) in seven games. Aho also skated for his home country at the 2014 U18 World Junior Championship and the 2015 World Junior Championship and has been named to Finland’s roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey, to take place from Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto.