Hurricanes sign top prospect Sebastian Aho to entry-level deal

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The Carolina Hurricanes signed prospect Sebastian Aho to a three-year entry-level contract on Monday. He was selected in the second round, 35th overall, in last summer’s Entry Draft.

Aho will make $832,500 if he sticks in the NHL and $70,000 if he plays in the AHL. His signing bonus is worth $277,500.

“Sebastian is regarded as one of the top prospects in hockey and is ready to begin his North American career,” executive vice-president and GM Ron Francis said in a release. He had a tremendous season as an 18-year-old playing against men in Finland’s top league, and was outstanding in international competition including the recent World Championship. He will play an important role for the Hurricanes moving forward.”

The 18-year-old scored an impressive 20 goals and 45 points in 45 games with Karpat in the Finnish league in 2015-16. He had five goals and 14 points in seven games at the World Junior Hockey Championship (Finland won gold) and he put up three goals and seven points in 10 games at last month’s World Hockey Championship (Finland won silver).

Whether or not he can crack the NHL at 19-years-old remains to be seen, but it sounds like Aho definitely left an impression on Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters at the World Championship.

“Sebastian was outstanding in the semifinal against Russia … and he was dangerous against us, too,” said Peters, who coached Team USA . “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 certainly have openings up front. It’ll be interesting to see how quickly Aho can adjust to the North American rinks.