It’s officially time to call Carolina Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho a superstar in the NHL. There should be no more debates on if he is one or not. In any other system with any other team, he is a 40-goal scorer. When it comes to Carolina, he is an elite two-way 200-foot player who can be used in all situations. He is averaging 19:49 of ice time during the 2023-24 season after playing in 20 of the Hurricanes’ 23 games. There is no reason why he is not a superstar; it’s time people around the league along with the hockey world put respect on his name and status.
Put Respect on Sebastian Aho’s Name
Through the 20 games Aho has been available for the Hurricanes this season, he has tallied 22 points. That is not a typo. He is producing at over a point per game after missing three games during the West Coast road trip back in October. Over the last ten games for the Hurricanes, Aho has tallied points in eight of those games. The only two games where he did not get a point were during the team’s 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Nov. 15 and their 8-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 24. Other than that, he has been putting up numbers in bunches. Even more so recently he had a two-goal night to lead the Hurricanes to a 6-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, Dec. 2.
He is on pace for 28 goals this season, currently at eight, and looks to have a career year in points. Aho’s best point total came during the 2018-19 season where he finished with 83 points. That season he finished with 30 goals which means even with his projected 28, there is a chance he could beat it during the 2023-24 season. He is already at 14 assists this season and in the 2018-19 season, he finished with 53 (career high) so he is on pace to match or pass that number after only playing 20 of 23 games.
Just even looking past this current season, Aho has either been within eight points or over a point-per-game guy since his rookie season back in 2016-17. That season saw him tally 49 points in 82 games which is still impressive for a 19-year-old after being considered a “reach” in the second round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. After that rookie season, he has been a constant clutch player for the Hurricanes in his eight seasons with the franchise.
He is currently in his eighth season with the team and has accumulated 490 points in 540 games played. Furthermore, he has set almost every playoff record for the franchise and he is only 26 years old. When it’s all said and done, he could be the greatest Hurricanes player of all time with records left and right.
Locked in for Eight More Years
To further prove that he is a superstar player, especially for the Hurricanes, this past offseason, the team locked in their number one center to an eight-year extension worth $78 million with an average annual value (AAV) of $9.75 million. The contract involves a full no-movement clause for all eight years of the deal that will expire after the 2031-32 season. He will be 34 years old when the deal is done and probably will hold a plethora of records within the Hurricanes franchise.
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To have a player like Aho extended for such a long time shows that the Hurricanes are invested in their superstar cornerstone. Once his extension expires, he will have played with Carolina for 16 seasons. He has the potential to be a lifetime Hurricanes player who could one day have his number retired. Furthermore, he is an alternate captain who could be named the next captain whenever Jordan Staal retires. He is beloved by teammates, coaches, and fans from Carolina to Finland. The Rauma, Finland native has been making the case for his rise in status within the NHL and it’s high time that he gets recognized for it.
There is no reason why he should not be called a superstar. Being called one does not mean he has to be a 50-goal scorer or a 100-point player every season. He does everything the Hurricanes ask of him plus is usually leading the team in points and is always putting up solid numbers each season. To have 490 points in 540 games should be a clear indication that he can tally up points season in and season out.
Aho is a superstar and should be regarded as such. The points are there. The records are there. There should be no more debate on what kind of player he is around the NHL. He is the face of the Hurricanes and is a guy that the NHL should market itself around like the other superstars around the league. He is a Finntastic Finn and should be treated as one of the superstars that he rightfully is.