It’s unofficially Sebastian Aho Day around these parts, and understandably so: he had quite the week to remember. On Monday, the NHL did its part to add to Aho’s breakout week, naming him the league's first star of the week ending February 5.
Aho joins Brock McGinn and Cam Ward as Hurricanes honorees in the league’s weekly awards this season. It's the first time since the NHL began awarding the three stars in the 2009-2010 season that the Canes have had three players honored in the same season. Aho is also the first member of the Hurricanes to be named the league’s first star in more than three years, since Jeff Skinner took the honors on January 6, 2014.
Last week, Aho scored four goals and five points in three games, including his first career hat trick as part of a four-point night against the Flyers on Tuesday. In both games in which he scored, he tallied the game-winning goals against the Flyers and Oilers. His 16 goals are second to Skinner’s 18, and he ranks third in team scoring with 31 points, behind Skinner and Victor Rask.
Aho is also third in rookie scoring behind Auston Matthews of the Maple Leafs and the Jets’ Patrik Laine, Aho’s former linemate with Team Finland. He is one of seven Hurricanes players to not miss a game so far this season.
The release from the team follows.
SEBASTIAN AHO NAMED NHL FIRST STAR OF THE WEEK
Forward notched first career hat trick, earned five points in three games
The National Hockey League announced on Monday that Carolina Hurricanes rookie forward Sebastian Aho has been selected as the league’s first star of the week.
Aho, 19, scored four goals, earned an assist (5 points) and recorded a plus-3 plus/minus rating in Carolina’s three wins last week – at home against Philadelphia (1/31, 5-1) and Edmonton (2/3, 2-1), and at the New York Islanders (2/4, 5-4 OT). The Rauma, Finland, native notched his first career hat trick and had an assist in Tuesday’s 5-1 win against Philadelphia. On Friday, Aho (5’11”, 172 lbs.) notched the game-winning goal on the power play in Carolina’s 2-1 win against Edmonton.
The Hurricanes selected Aho in the second round, 35th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut on opening night of this season, and currently ranks third among all NHL rookies with 16 goals. Aho’s 126 shots rank tied for second among NHL rookies this season, and his 31 points have him tied for sixth among league rookies. Prior to the season, Aho represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey, and he has represented his native country in a number of other international competitions including the 2016 IIHF World Championship and 2016 World Junior Championship.