Now that the team has moved forward Jeff Skinner, the Carolina Hurricanes have made it clear that they intend to make forward Sebastian Aho the face of the franchise going forward. It’s a good choice as the 21-year-old has been nothing but dazzling in the two years that he’s been with the team and posted an impressive 29 goals and 65 points last year.
In a state of the franchise press conference today, new team owner Tom Dundon even went so far as to say today that locking up Aho to a long-term extension is a high priority, according to Chip Alexander of the News & Observer.
Aho, who is in the final year of a three-year entry-level deal that pays him $925K, should be in line for a big payday next season, especially if Aho takes his game another notch, regardless if he signs a bridge deal or a long-term one. Aho was a second-round pick in 2015 (35th overall) and opted to spend one year longer in the Liiga before coming over in the 2016-17 season, posting 24 goals and 49 points as a rookie. He is expected to be on the team’s top line as the season begins.