Sebastian Aho is without a doubt the most popular Carolina Hurricane. His name has been mentioned in every podcast, column, and bar conversation on the Canes since coming to Raleigh. He has had good seasons, great seasons, and beyond great seasons.
On that, we can agree.
Explosive and quick, with great puck awareness and a better than average line mate in Teuvo Teravainen, Aho has lit the lamps for the Canes as he pleases.
But this season seems to have taking a different hop for the 25 year old Finn.
Besides being at the very least banged up or out of the line up injured for most of Carolina’s road worn first quarter of the season, Aho has been off his typical game.
Through November and into December, Aho’s numbers were fits and spurts. His lower body injury might have been the cause of that, but he had stellar nights when it seemed to not effect his game as much.
There is no consist streaks of “point a night” play, or negative nights either. With the exception of his last five games, where it appears he is completely healthy.
It’s good games here, slow nights there. He has more -3 nights this year than in years past, and there are more neutral games on the stats sheet than Canes fans are used to.
Still something seems different.
In looking over the stat sheet and doing a little math, it would appear that Sebastian Aho is on pace to have his second highest assist total for his career. With a couple extra, it could easily be his highest.
Sitting at 23 (or more depending on when you read this) going into the All-Star Game, at the rate he is going that would be 46 and just 7 less than the 53 he posted in the 2018-19 season. If he remains healthy, and all indicators point to that, the 53 might well fall off the top.
Could it be that Aho is developing into an apple farm?
This makes sense given his name has not been on the lips of school children from Boone to Mateo this year. Despite the brouhaha brought about by particular commentators who dared to attempt proving Aho was in fact not on the trade table, we have not seen Aho in headlines as in days of yore.
It could be he is stepping, ever so slightly, into a different role for the Carolina Hurricanes. It may not be evident until much later, but this role might well come with sweater improvements too.
With this new mentality potentially emerging, and the fact that he spent much of the first half battling an injury, then missed several game to recuperate, I would have to give Sebastian Aho a very solid B+.