Hurricanes sign prospect Sebastian Aho to ELC

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
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Carolina Hurricanes, Gregg Forwerck
Carolina Hurricanes, Gregg Forwerck

RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes announced on Monday that the team had agreed to terms on a three-year, entry-level contract (ELC) with Finnish forward Sebastian Aho.

With a signing bonus of $277,500, the deal will pay Aho $832,500 in the National Hockey League (NHL), or $70,000 in the American Hockey League (AHL) for all three seasons.

“Sebastian is regarded as one of the top prospects in hockey and is ready to begin his North American career,” Hurricanes executive vice president and general manager Ron Francis said.

“He had a tremendous season as an 18-year-old playing against men in Finland’s top league, and was outstanding in international competitions including the recent World Championship. He will play an important role for the Hurricanes moving forward.”

Aho led Karpat of Finland’s top professional league in scoring in 2015-16, posting 45 points (20g, 25a) in 45 games.

He ranked tied for fourth in goals, ninth in points and tied for 11th in assists throughout the regular season, despite playing in just 45 of his team’s 60 games because of time spent with the Finnish national junior team.

In postseason play, he was tied for third among league skaters in scoring with 15 points (4g, 11a) in 14 games.

The Hurricanes’ second pick (35th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft, Aho has totaled 59 points (24g, 35a) in 78 career games in Liiga for Karpat and Assat Pori.

The five-foot-11-inch, 172-pounder scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 7 during Liiga’s Kanada-malja final in 2015 to give Karpat its second consecutive league championship.

Internationally, Aho has represented Finland in a number of tournaments, including the recent 2016 IIHF World Championship, where he tallied seven points (3g, 4a) in 10 games to help Finland capture the silver medal.

He led Finland to the gold medal at the 2016 World Junior Championship, and ranked second in tournament scoring with 14 points (5g, 9a) in seven games.

Aho also skated for his home country at the 2014 U18 World Junior Championship and the 2015 World Junior Championship.

He was recently named to Finland’s roster for the upcoming World Cup of Hockey that will take place Sept. 17-Oct. 1 in Toronto, Ontario.