Geek of the Week: Sebastian Aho

by Scott Maran on February 5, 2017

Super rookie Sebastian Aho might not boost your fantasy team as much as you'd think.

Even though the Carolina Hurricanes are still thought of as one of the weaker teams in the league, they have been developing an impressive group of young talent. Though they no longer have face-of-the-franchise Eric Staal on the roster, they’re no longer the pushovers they once were. With the firepower to back it up, the Hurricanes boast some serious skill at almost every position. Justin Faulk continues to lead the defense while Jeff Skinner has grown into a premier offensive weapon. However, along with a few other young forwards, Sebastian Aho has quickly become an impact player for the Hurricanes and has been a vital contributor to the Hurricanes offense. But despite this offense, Sebastian Aho is still having a hard time making an impact in fantasy hockey.

Sebastian Aho grew up playing hockey in his native Finland and quickly became one of the top prospects to watch. After tearing up the junior leagues, Aho made his debut in the top Finnish professional league in the 2013-14 season. In the following season he would play in Liiga with Karpat full time, scoring four goals and seven assists in 27 games. Impressing wit the Finnish U18 team in the World Juniors with nine points in nine games, the Carolina Hurricanes selected the young forward with the 35th overall pick in 2015.

After being drafted by Carolina, Aho remained in Finland for one more season but dominated the competition. Scoring 45 points in 45 games, Aho was named to the SM-liiga All-Star team and quickly became one of the team’s most important players. Continuing his success into the playoffs, Aho tallied four goals and 11 assists in 14 playoff games.

Now in his first year in the NHL, Aho has already had quite the success. With seven points in his last five games, Aho already has 31 points in 50 games. Averaging around 16 minutes of ice time per game, Aho has spent plenty of time in the top-six, usually lining up next to Jordan Staal, Elias Lindholm, or Jeff Skinner. There was some hype around him at the beginning of the fantasy hockey season as some people picked Aho as a potential sleeper and he has been providing a good amount of offense. But just how much value has he been providing?

With the Fantasy Hockey Geek tool, we can figure that out. For our first sample league, we’ll being using an average 12-team H2H Yahoo league measuring G, A, PPP, SOG, Hits, W, SV%, GAA, and SO with this season’s stats.
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

ADP

G

A

SOG

PPP

Hits

Jason Demers

154

1

415

9

13

58

4

65

T.J. Oshie

155

0

92

19

15

90

7

57

Sebastian Aho

156

0

581

16

15

125

9

27


Despite having a fair amount of points on the year (98th in the league), Aho doesn’t contribute nearly enough across other categories to be a very effective fantasy asset for this season. His power-play points are mostly average (108th in the league) and his hit totals are terrible (457th in the NHL). His shot totals are really the only above average thing about Aho’s season and help to mitigate the low hit totals. But what happens if your league doesn’t count shots?
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

ADP

G

A

PIM

PPP

Hits

Travis Zajac

256

-7

390

9

19

20

6

57

Stephen Johns

257

-7

463

4

4

19

0

101

Sebastian Aho

258

-8

581

16

15

8

9

27


When shots aren’t counted, Aho’s value takes a nosedive. It also doesn’t help that, similar to his hits, his penalty minutes are extremely weak. With only eight on the year, Aho is tied for the 526th most penalty minutes in the league. But what about Aho’s value in points-only leagues?
 

 

Rank

FHG Value

ADP

G

A

Gustav Nyquist

155

-4

163

7

20

Sebastian Aho

156

-4

581

16

15

Jake Muzzin

157

-5

101

7

10


Even when we only have goals and assists as categories, Aho’s value is still pretty low. He doesn’t crack the top 150 players and has about the same value as Gustav Nyquist and Vincent Trocheck.

There’s no denying that Sebastian Aho is talented and will be an important player for the Hurricanes for years to come. However, this season, even in points-only leagues where categories like hits and penalty minutes aren’t counted, Aho has little value. If your league counts hits or penalty minutes, it’ll be hard for Aho to provide you with a lot of fantasy value.