Hurricane Aho Unshackled: Inking a Powerhouse Pact of $78 Million Over 8 Years
The Hurricanes’ Forward Lands a Staggering $9.75 Million per Year in a Game-Changing Deal Commencing Next Season
On Wednesday, Sebastian Aho agreed to an eight-year, $78 million deal with the Carolina Hurricanes. It starts the next season and has an average yearly value of $9.75 million.
The 26-year-old attacker finished second in points with 67 (Martin Necas, 71) in 75 regular-season games while leading Carolina in goals for the sixth consecutive season with 36. With 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 15 Stanley Cup Playoff games, he shared the team lead with Jordan Martinook and helped the Hurricanes advance to the Eastern Conference Final before losing to the Florida Panthers in three games.
Don Waddell, general manager of the Hurricanes, said Sebastian has grown into one of hockey’s top two-way centers. He is a fantastic leader who sets a terrific example for our younger players on and off the court. We appreciate his decision to commit to staying in Carolina for the foreseeable future.
On July 20, Waddell stated that he hoped to finish a new deal before the end of the following week. Waddell remarked, “He wants to be a Hurricane player for life.” “What occurred (with the offer sheet) four years ago is now water under the bridge. We last discussed it when we decided to match the offer sheet. He wants to be a Carolina Hurricane now that we’ve had him here for as long as we have. He approves of our current situation and our coach, Rod Brind’Amour, so everything is OK.
Aho receives an increase from his previous salary of around $8.5 million as Carolina’s best center and most significant all-around forward. He will continue to earn the most on the team, at least for now. Aho, who was taken in the second round (at pick No. 35) of the 2015 NHL Draft, ranks seventh all-time in goals (218), points (468), and assists (250) for the Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers in 520 regular-season games over seven seasons. In 63 games, he has the most goals (23), assists (35), and points (48) in Hurricanes/Whalers postseason history.
Aho Elevates the Carolina Hurricanes Hockey to New Heights
Aho continued his trend of seven straight seasons with at least 24 goals, which he started when he made his Hurricanes debut in 2016–17 by scoring 36 goals in 2022–23. While participating in 75 games, he contributed 31 assists.
Carolina made its first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals since 2019 throughout the postseason, so he contributed five goals and seven assists. Aho has scored 58 points in 63 postseason games, over one point per game.
Carolina has been busily rearranging its team around a solid core after beginning the summer with around $24 million in salary space. This fortification included bringing back essential players. In 520 regular-season games in his career, the 26-year-old Finn has scored 468 points, all with Carolina. He is almost a point-per-game player, with 58 points in 63 games throughout the playoffs.
The Hurricanes, who have qualified for the postseason in the last five seasons, are once again a Stanley Cup contender.
The native of Rauma, Finland, was chosen by the Hurricanes with the 35th overall pick in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft. Aho ranks third in career goals, fourth in points, and sixth in assists among players in his draft class. He won the accuracy shooting competition in Las Vegas in the 2022 NHL All-Star Skills Competition. He was selected to the NHL All-Star Game twice (in 2019 and 2022). Aho competed for Finland in the IIHF World Junior Championship in 2015 and 2016 and the IIHF World Championship in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
Aho’s Dominance in Raleigh: Seven Seasons of Unstoppable Impact
Sebastian Aho has developed in front of Carolina Hurricanes supporters, going from a young, fresh-faced 19-year-old making his NHL debut in Winnipeg to one of the most challenging competitors in the game.
Some “experts” criticized the 2015 selection of the Finnish forward as a second-day choice. What more is possible of #20 at this stage of his career? In playoff action, he has already passed other players to become the franchise’s all-time leader in goals (23), assists (35), and points (58). Aho has consistently been the team’s top center and has improved in defense while approaching the point-per-game mark in his first 520 NHL games.
It’s a wonderful day for the squad that Aho has committed to playing for them for the next nine seasons. His teammates and coaches belove in Aho, and he serves as a role model for the team off the ice.
Owner Tom Dundon stated that “this is his team now” about Aho earlier this summer, even though Aho is only 26. It’s easy to see a scenario where the Rauma, Finland-born player, acts as Jordan Staal’s replacement when the current locker room leader’s playing days end. He has served as an alternate captain for the previous two seasons.
Today is a day to celebrate Aho’s accomplishments as much as it is to celebrate the fact that he will continue to be an integral part of the squad for over a decade. Aho already has a team record with nine OT goals and his playoff totals.
His 200-foot game has contributed to Carolina’s 31 wins in three-on-three play over the previous five seasons, and he will surpass Jeff O’Neill in January 2022. Nobody who donned a Canes jersey has discovered a method to increase offense while playing shorthanded.
Aho’s ability to transition play-up ice compels other power plays to consider their defense, setting a franchise record with 22 points while a man down. No skater in the NHL has scored more shorthanded goals (16) since Aho’s debut in the league during the 2016–17 season.
Canes’ Roster Bolstered by Stellar Signings: Other Standouts Join the Fray
The Hurricanes also signed UFA forwards Michael Bunting (three years, $13.5 million) and Brendan Lemieux (one year, $800,000), as well as defenders Tony DeAngelo (one year, $1.675 million) and Dmitry Orlov (two years, $15.5 million) during the summer. On July 15, the Philadelphia Flyers terminated DeAngelo’s two-year, $10 million contract after the last season.