Writers select Sebastian Aho as Hurricanes’ MVP; Seth Jarvis wins Josef Vasicek Award

Aho has been chosen as the team's most valuable player six of the last seven seasons

Hurricanes forward Seth Jarvis, left, was named the receipient of the Josef Vasicek Award, and center Sebastian Aho was selected as team MVP by the Carolina chapter of the PHWA. (Adam Hunger / AP Photo)

RALEIGH — The Carolina chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association handed out its two annual awards Thursday.

Sebastian Aho received the team’s Most Valuable Player award for the sixth time in seven seasons, and Seth Jarvis was named the recipient of the Josef Vasicek Award, which recognizes a player for his cooperation with the local media. The PHWA had previously nominated goalie Frederik Andersen for the league-wide Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

“I think I played better hockey this year than I played last year. … The way I see it,” Aho said, “I just want to, each and every day, get better a little bit. That’s kind of the mindset.”

Aho set a career high in points in 2023-24, finishing with 89 points in 78 games. That included scoring 36 goals for the second consecutive season — the fifth time he’s cracked the 30-goal mark in his career.

Aho’s previous high for points in a season was 83 in 2018-19.

“Obviously you’re going to score points, you’re going to score goals,” he said. “For you guys, it’s easier to measure and see the points. But that’s not the way I look into it. I want to be a more complete player, want to play in every area in the game and be better. And I think I’ve done a pretty solid job this year.”

He has been chosen as team MVP by the local media in every season since 2017-18 except following the 2021-22 campaign when Andersen earned the honor.

Jarvis also had a breakthrough season, more than doubling his career goals by scoring 33 after totaling 31 in his first two NHL seasons. The 22-year-old finished with 67 points, behind only Aho for points with the Hurricanes this season, and led the team in power play goals with 13.

With that success has come more media responsibilities, something Jarvis has embraced.

“There’s not an on or off switch, it’s just kind of there,” he said.

Jarvis has provided both fun, colorful interviews and detailed insight as he has emerged as one of the faces of the franchise. Jarvis’ selection as winner of the Vasicek Award — named after the late former Hurricanes player who died in a 2011 plane crash that killed 44 members of the KHL’s Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team — marks the 10th straight season a different player has been given the honor.

“Everyone’s kind of the same in a lot of answers, and you can give a stock answer,” he said. “It makes your guys’ job a little bit easier if you give more detail and a little more personality. And that’s just what I tried to do — add a little more fun.”

Both players have been critical to Carolina’s success this season. On top of ranking first and second in goals, assists and points, Aho and Jarvis are on the top unit of the team’s second-ranked power play and key parts of the Hurricanes’ league-best penalty kill.

Carolina’s first-round series against the New York Islanders will begin Saturday at 5 p.m. when the Hurricanes host Game 1 at PNC Arena.

“We have a good team,” Aho said. “But having said that, we’ve got to start on time and be ready to work. The guys are excited here, can’t wait to already start.”