The Carolina Hurricanes had three rookies play significant roles on their blueline in 2015-16. Next season it could be a forward that becomes the face of the team’s youth movement.
Sebastian Aho is projected to make the transition from the Finnish league to North America and while he’s still just 18 years old (19 on July 26), an AHL stint might not be necessary. After all he scored 20 goals and 45 points in 45 games with Karpat in 2015-16 and then Aho made a strong impression in the World Championship while he was representing Finland and Hurricanes coach Bill Peters was behind the bench with Canada.
“Sebastian was outstanding in the semifinal against Russia … and he was dangerous against us, too,” Peters told The News & Observer. “You’re definitely aware of him when he’s on the ice. I’d be shocked if he comes in and can’t make our hockey team. He’s done it at every level.”
The Hurricanes finished near the bottom of the league in goals scored last season and Aho could be part of the solution there. Before that happens though, Aho will get some extra experience playing against NHL talent in the 2016 World Cup as he was recently added to Finland’s roster.