A big piece of the gold medal winning Finnish World Junior Championship team, Sebastian Aho, is headed to North America after signing a three-year, entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday. The team announced that the deal pays him $832,500 in the NHL or $70,000 in the AHL with a signing bonus of $277,500.
“Sebastian is regarded as one of the top prospects in hockey and is ready to begin his North American career,” said general manager Ron Francis in a statement. “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.”
In the Finnish Liiga the 2015 2nd round (35th overall) draft pick led Karpat in scoring at just 18, recording 20 goals and 45 points in 45 games. League-wide he was fourth in goals and ninth in points.
At the World Juniors he was a part of an electric line that featured 2016 draft eligible stars Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine. He put up five goals and 14 points in seven games as the Finns took gold on home ice.
Aho projects to play a big part in the next phase of Carolina’s build, with their young defensive corps looking solid through the end of last season.