Welcome Sebastian Aho to the NHL’s fine crop of rookies

Lost in the fold of the NHL's remarkable group of rookies this season is the quietly productive and highly effective Sebastian Aho.

The Carolina Hurricanes freshman, a second-round pick in 2015, broke out in a big way Tuesday night, netting his first career hat trick.

They weren't exactly garbage goals, either:

Aho's trio of tallies is the first hat trick from a Hurricanes rookie since Erik Cole scored three on Dec. 21, 2001. While it's definitely Aho's best performance to date, it highlights what's been a special rookie season all together.

With 29 points through 49 games this season, Aho ranks tied for sixth in rookie scoring, behind what might be the best pack of newcomers the NHL has ever seen.

He's been a leader for the Hurricanes, too.

Since Dec. 1, Aho's recorded 12 goals and six assists for 18 points, the highest total of any Carolina player in that span. The 19-year-old is on pace for 48 points over an 82 game season, which would mark the highest total from a Hurricanes rookie since Jeff Skinner's 63-point 2010-11 season that earned him the Calder Trophy.

The young winger may be stuck behind some more prominent rookie names, and sheltered in a smaller market, but with more performances like Tuesday's, Aho will be a household name soon enough.

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