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Aho Named One of NHL's Top Centers

NHL Network, fans rank Aho among top 20

by Michael Smith @MSmithCanes /

The Carolina Hurricanes' top scoring line is anchored by Sebastian Aho, who ranks among the league's best centers, according to NHL Network.

Sebastian Aho ranks 13th on NHL Network's list of Top 20 Centers Right Now, as revealed on Sunday night.

NHL Network also polled fans, who slotted Aho 15th.

The 2019-20 season marked Aho's fourth in the NHL, and despite it being trimmed short, the Finnish center still set a career high in goals with 38. He scored at nearly a point-per-game pace, leading the team in points with 66 (38g, 28a) in 68 games. The 23-year-old has now led the team in goals and points in consecutive seasons, and he's just the fourth player in team history (since relocation) to record consecutive 30-goal seasons. When Aho tallied his 20th goal of 2019-20 in Winnipeg in mid-December, he became the first player in team history (since relocation) and the fourth player in franchise history to record at least 20 goals in each of his first four seasons.

Video: CAR@VGK: Aho puts home loose puck for 30th goal

From Jan. 21 through Feb. 28, Aho recorded a career-long 14-game point streak that included 12 goals and nine assists. It was the longest point streak in team history (since relocation), the third-longest in franchise history and the third-longest in the NHL in 2019-20.

Aho recorded a career-high five points and his third career hat trick in the Canes' 6-2 win over Minnesota on Dec. 7. Aho scored an even-strength, power-play and shorthanded goal, the second time in his career he's done so. He's the only active player in the NHL and the only player in franchise history to record multiple hat tricks featuring goals at all three strengths in a game.

Video: MIN@CAR: Aho earns third NHL hat trick in 6-2 win

In the 2020 postseason, Aho again led the team in scoring with 12 points (3g, 9a) in eight games. He found the scoresheet in every game but one, and in the Qualifiers sweep of New York, Aho tallied eight points (3g, 5a) over three multi-point games.

Video: CAR@NYR, Gm3: Aho forces turnover, scores superb goal

As we have with the previous two lists, TV's Mike Maniscalco and I opined on NHL Network's latest rankings on episode 149 of CanesCast (42:20 mark).

NHL Network will round out their weekly positional countdowns in November with their list of top 10 goaltenders on Sunday. Then in December, NHL Network will reveal its list of top 50 players.

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