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About Last Season: Sebastian Aho Performance Review and Grade

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The Hype Train kept rolling — and even picked up steam — in 2017-18.

Jamie Kellner

Sebastian Aho: 2017-18 By the Numbers

  • Age: 20
  • NHL Seasons: 2
  • Scoring: 29 goals — 36 assists — 65 points
  • Ice Time: 17:55 all situations, 15:12 ES, 2:41 PP, 0:02 PK
  • 5-on-5 stats: 55.0% CF, 54.5% GF
  • Contract Status: Completed second year of a three-year, $1.775 million AAV entry-level contract

Making the Grade

I, for one, welcome our new Finnish overlord(s).

Sebastian Aho’s sophomore season signaled another huge step forward in the young Finn’s career, and cemented his place as the cornerstone of the team’s offensive efforts. Aho led the team with 29 goals and 65 points last season, and ranked second with 36 assists, despite missing four games. Combine his season-long showing with that of fellow Finn Teuvo Teravainen (23g-41a-64pts), and you’ve got a deadly duo to build an attack around.

It wasn’t exactly a dream start to the 2017-18 campaign, but Aho did manage to build on his phenomenal 49-point performance from the year prior. After kicking off the campaign with a 15-game scoreless drought, Aho rattled off markers in five straight games before notching just two in his next 14 outings. But that streakiness soon faded, as he posted 20g-22a-42pts in 48 games from Dec. 23 through the end of the year.

In a season dominated by the usual Canes shortcomings (goaltending, lack of scoring, etc...), Aho was more than just a great player on a bad team. A 65-point season raises eyebrows on its own, but for a player nowhere near his ceiling at this point to put up team-leading numbers is like found money. Sure, he’s likely to regress a bit, but the effort and focus to not get discouraged after a tough start and on-ice leadership down the stretch warrant belief that Carolina’s #20 is the team’s main building block on the front end.

The next step for the 20-year-old is to improve his consistency and continue to work on phasing into a first-line center role. He may not play in the middle full-time, but having a high-scoring winger that can also take on the key defensive aspects of a center and win faceoffs when needed would provide a nice security blanket for first-year head coach, Rod Brind’Amour.

Aho improved in nearly every offensive statistical category from his rookie year to last season, and inched to within a single tally of the coveted 30-goal plateau despite firing 14 fewer shots than he did in 2016-17. If you’re looking for promise going forward, a young star dominating early in his career and building chemistry with another breakout player in Teravainen should remind even the most pessimistic of Canes fans that the team is not without a few gems.


Exit Interview


Poll

How do you grade Sebastian Aho’s 2017-18 season?

This poll is closed

  • 83%
    A - Outstanding performance
    (288 votes)
  • 15%
    B - Above average performance
    (55 votes)
  • 0%
    C - Average performance
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    D - Below average performance
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    F - Significantly below average erformance
    (2 votes)
345 votes total Vote Now