Aho, 21, was sitting through his third NHL draft (at home on the couch with a friend while watching a movie) when he got the call that the Islanders had selected him in the fifth round. “It feels awesome, shit fun,” he said at the time through a poorly Google translated article in Swedish newspaper expressen.
His age allows him to play in the AHL this season, which is kind of a rarity for just drafted players. Just this weekend, his SHL club Skelleftea confirmed that Aho wouldn’t be returning to that team this season and was indeed looking to leave the Swedish league altogether. Seems like he’s pretty clearly on his way to Bridgeport.
And, no, he isn’t the other Sebastian Aho, who plays for the Hurricanes. That guy’s a forward. And also Finnish. And also 19. Good thing the Islanders and Carolina only play each other four or five times a season. I’m sure broadcasters Brendan Burke and John Forslund are thrilled.
THIS Aho comes with some high praise despite not being drafted two years in a row. He scored 10 goals (second among defensemen) and 20 assists in 50 SHL games this season, and has 60 points in 152 career games in the SHL. He’s not the biggest player in the world (he’s 5’-10”, 176-pounds, possibly contributing to the delay in his drafting), but he’s a skilled puck mover who can skate well in all zones.
Eyes on the Prize had a lengthy profile on him before the draft and threw around names like Torey Krug and Ryan Ellis as possible comparables. Man, that’d be awesome.
Welcome aboard, dude. You don’t need to be another Krug or Ellis. You just need to be Sebastian Aho. Or, at least, this Sebastian Aho (although the other Sebastian Aho is real good, too).