Penguins Sign Puck-Moving Defenseman to Two-Year Deal

The Penguins have signed Sebastian Aho to a two-year deal worth $775K per year.

Aho, 28, is not related to the Hurricanes’ star with the same name. He has spent his entire career with the Islanders, playing parts of five seasons after being drafted in 2017. According to Stefen Rosner, Aho wanted to stay with the Islanders but either didn’t get an offer or thought he could find a better deal elsewhere. Although his contract with Pittsburgh isn’t very lucrative, it provides him stability through 2025-26.

Aho is in his prime and serves as a decent third-pairing defender. Last season, he was a regular on the Islanders’ blue line and recorded 23 points in 71 games with a +9 rating. He’s known for being a solid puck-mover and having good defensive instincts . Since before the pandemic, he hasn’t played in minor leagues and often gave New York reliable depth minutes.

Penguins’ Defensive Strategy:

Signing Aho suggests that Pittsburgh wants more offensive depth on defense than last year. Alongside recent signing Matt Grzelcyk, Aho offers more potential than last season’s rotating cast of John Ludvig, Ryan Shea, and John St. Ivany. For now, Aho and Grzelcyk are expected to be part of the bottom pairing on opening night while Ludvig, Shea, and St. Ivany will compete for roster spots.

Fans might think this move shows Pittsburgh is serious about improving their defense.

Aho also replaces Pierre-Olivier Joseph at a lower cost but similar skillset. Joseph became an unrestricted free agent over the weekend after not receiving a qualifying offer of $892.5K despite having similar production to Aho over the past two years.

What do you think about this new signing?

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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