Hurricanes, Sebastian Aho discussing long-term contract

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Carolina Hurricanes' Sebastian Aho (20) gathers in the puck in front of Vancouver Canucks' Nikolay Goldobin (77) during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in Raleigh, N.C. (Karl B DeBlaker/AP)

The Carolina Hurricanes are optimistic they’ll have Sebastian Aho locked up to a long-term contract, eventually.

The two sides have engaged in contract talks and Hurricanes GM and president Don Waddell told The News & Observer that in terms of the “amount of money we’re talking, there’s not a crazy difference.”

Aho has fully arrived as a star this season, his third in the NHL after being drafted in the second round in 2015.

The shifty Finn has four goals and 17 points in 12 games, and his 12-game point streak has broken Ron Francis’s franchise record.

He’s in the final year of his entry-level contract and looks poised to cash in as the face of the Hurricanes for years to come.

“I like it here. I love living here,” said Aho.

The 21-year-old’s new deal will likely make him the highest-paid Hurricane, passing Jordan Staal’s $6-million cap hit.

Carolina has the most cap space in the league this year, according to CapFriendly, and will have plenty of money coming off the books this summer.

Finding the right dollar amount for a player of Aho’s calibre won’t necessarily be easy, but a deal getting done appears to be more a matter of when and not if.

“We’ve had lots of discussions and everything has been positive,” said Waddell. “We both have the same goal, and that is we want to sign him to a long-term deal and he wants to be here long term. That’s always the starting point, which is always good.”

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