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Get to Know Sebastian Aho
Date of Birth: 2-17-96
Place of Birth: Umeå, SWE
Ht: 5’10” Wt: 174 lbs
Team: Skellefteå (SHL)
What Scouts See
Last Word on Sports:
An undersized Swedish defenceman with a ton of offensive skill. He’s a great skater in all directions, and has excellent edgework and pivots. Aho has great vision and can quarterback the powerplay. He also has an excellent slap shot, and is adept with a one-timer. Good at leading the rush or joining as a trailer. If Aho was three or four inches taller he’d be a potential first round pick, but at his height, the ability to compete with big physical forwards may always be an issue.
Director of European Scouting, Goran Stubb
He compensates for his lack of size with his positional play, hockey sense, mobility and skating. He plays a tough, aggressive style of hockey, plays bigger than he is and with a lot of confidence.
Aho’s game is built around what he brings to the offensive game. Aho is undersized, but very quick and mobile. He has quick, powerful feet that he uses to escape pressure and turn up ice with the puck. He moves smoothly and crisply, and is able to carry the puck out of danger. He handles the puck well with a soft pair of hands and the ability to protect the puck from pressure. Aho sees the ice very well and is an effective puck mover from his own end and from the point. He can work a powerplay masterfully and looks comfortable distributing the puck from the point. Aho also has a hard, accurate point shot. He uses an active defensive stick, and is poised in his own end. Concerns are that he doesn’t always make the right play defensively, due to his offensive bent, and that he needs to add some size and strength to be more effective in his zone, especially on the walls. He also looks, because of his lack of size, to be one big check away from injury. Makes smart plays using positioning and a quick stick to get the puck out of the D-zone. His biggest asset is his hockey sense and smarts.
Aho fits right into the mold of John-Michael Liles: a small offensive-defensman with a great hockey IQ, sweet feet, and talent with the puck. His NHL career path will probably follow Liles’s with teams leaning on him during the power play but keeping him as a bottom four d-man at even strength.
Expected Draft Position
Aho is all over the board in regards to draft position. Most likely he’s a 4th-5th round selection. If a team needs a guy to quarterback the powerplay, however, he might go sooner.
How Sebastian Aho Fits in Avalanche Organization
Aho would be redundant on the Avalanche. The team has better options in Tyson Barrie and Stefan Elliott when it comes to puck-moving defensemen.