Sebastian Aho is only scratching the surface of his potential for the Carolina Hurricanes.
As it turned out, Sebastian Aho wasn’t a reach in the second round after all. On Tuesday, the rookie scored his first NHL hat trick. At 19 years old, he is the youngest to accomplish the feat for the Carolina Hurricanes. During the Canes 5-1 route of the Flyers, Aho proved that he is on his way to being one of the most electrifying players to ever don the sightless eye.
The Finland native is third on the team in points with 16 goals and 31 points. Aho is also on pace to be the second-highest scoring rookie in franchise history behind only Jeff Skinner. Barring an unbelievable second half, Aho will not surpass Skinner’s 63 point rookie total. However, it isn’t any less remarkable what the teenager is doing. Aho’s point totals so far are on pace to beat the rookie goal totals of recent phenoms Dylan Larkin and Johnny Gaudreau.
Fans should expect more out of the young Finn.
Sebastian Aho leads the Carolina Hurricanes in scoring since the first of December. After a short adjustment period, it is safe to say that Aho has found his game. On his current pace, the young Finn would eclipse 26 goals and 51 points during his first season in the league. Last year, these totals would have put Aho in the top 15% of forwards scoring in the NHL. Fish, as his teammates refer to him, is in the top 75% of the league in goals per 60 minutes (G60). Although it seems the statistics have been in his favor thus far, could Aho be under performing? Canes fans are excited about the potential of their superstar-in-the-making, but should they be expecting this offensive productivity to continue from number twenty? The answer is yes.
From his NHL debut on October 13th through December 1st, Aho only tallied seven even-strength points. During this time, his shooting percentage (Sh%) was a paltry 5.76. For perspective, the league average this year is close to eight percent. Since December 1st, Seabass is shooting an astounding 9.55 percent. This brings his goal conversion rate to 8.09%, which is almost exactly league average. This metric explains why Aho opened the season with a fourteen game goal drought. Aho’s recent performance is not a fluke and fans should expect Aho’s surge to continue.
The Carolina Hurricanes found their next superstar.
It is too early to call Sebastian Aho the next Jeff Skinner, but he is well on his way. Carolina fans seem to temper expectations, as disappointment always seems to be on the horizon. However, it is safe to put faith in Aho. Anticipation surrounds the fan base; they are witnessing something that has only been done once in the franchise’s twenty-year history. Sebastian Aho has taken Raleigh by storm and he has no intentions of turning back. In the midst of an eight-year playoff drought, Canes fans finally have something to cheer about.