Sebastian Aho has had quite the rookie year. The mid-second round pick for the Carolina Hurricanes has turned into a diamond. A self-polishing one by the looks of things.

We’ll delve into the numbers in just a minute but it’s his play that excites me most. Aho dominates the right-hand side high point, making it his own, circling, waiting to find the right play. Aho’s hockey IQ is off the charts, quick whilst not making the rash decision.

An increasing net presence which can come across as a shock given he is only 5’11 and under 13 stone. A pest in front of the goaltender, not afraid to take abuse from defencemen and willing to tuck away the scrappy goals. When it comes to contract talks those goals around the crease will be counted just the same as his blue-line slappers.

Added to this, he has to be one of the best skaters in the NHL already, I mean seriously, the edge control is out of this world. It makes him such a nuisance in the offensive zone and so tricky to prevent.

The Finn ended up with 49 points in 82 regular season games. That’s 24 goals and 25 assists. It’s not exaggeration to say that the Finnish left-winger could improve to a point per game next season. I truly believe that. The Hurricanes have improved this off-season acquiring the likes of Justin Williams, Scott Darling and Marcus Kruger. Their late surge may run into the new season, especially with Aho in the lineup.

So that’s my prediction, Sebastian Aho to finish (excuse the pun) with a point per game next season, or just under.