The Carolina Hurricanes locked up a core piece on Monday, signing forward Teuvo Teravainen to a five-year contract extension. The deal carries an average annual value of $5.4-million and will keep Teravainen with the Canes through the 2023-24 season. He was set to become a restricted free-agent at the end of the season.
Teravainen has 10 goals and 29 assists in 48 games this season. He is on pace to establish career-highs in points (67) and helpers (50). He’s registered 48 goals and 97 assists in 211 games with Carolina since being acquired from the Blackhawks in 2016. He is an integral part of the Hurricanes’ offense, excelling at even strength as well as on the power-play.
With Teravainen signed long-term, the Hurricanes’ front office can turn its attention to Sebastian Aho. Aho is set to become a restricted free-agent when his entry-level contract expires at the end of the season. It’ll take more than a $5.4-million cap-hit to lock up Aho long term, though Carolina has more than enough cap space to work with.
Aho and the Hurricanes reportedly began discussing an extension in the off-season. In hindsight, Carolina would have been wise to get a deal done then. The 21-year-old Fin is breaking out at just the right time and his value is sky-rocketing. The Hockey News reported in early November that Aho’s camp was using Jack Eichel’s $10-million contract as their benchmark.
Aho has followed up last year’s 65-point campaign with 21 goals and 33 assists in his first 48 games this season. He’s a reliable point-producer and the offensive catalyst for a Hurricanes team that notoriously struggles to convert on their chances. He probably won’t get the $10-million he’s looking for, but Teravainen’s cap-hit is manageable enough that Carolina can afford to overpay for Aho.