Carter Sotheran is one of the two best defencemen in the Manitoba U18 AAA Hockey League. The Sanford, Manitoba product was named a First Team All-Star on Friday for his stellar play with the Pembina Valley Hawks this season. The 16-year-old describes what it is like to be looked at as one of the best.

"It feels great to be recognized like that, especially not knowing that was even going to come out," says Sotheran. "It feels like my hard work paid off, but I obviously have to give credit to my teammates for pushing me in practice and always being there."

Sotheran led his team in scoring from the backend this season, with 20 goals and 34 assists for 54 points. This also led all defencemen in the league for total points. He outlines how he became so successful this year.

"I tried to keep up in the play and push for offence," Sotheran explains. "I always liked to keep up in the offence, while also playing good defence. I was just trying to be consistent and trying to help out my teammates in the offensive zone."

Unfortunately for Sotheran and the Hawks, they missed the MU18HL's playoffs by seven points and their season has come to a close. Despite the outcome, Sotheran says he has a lot he can take away from this season, the main thing being the importance of practice.

"Coming to practice every day, working to get better, and trying to improve my game every day does pay off in the games," Sotheran continues. "You're not just dogging it in practice but you're coming to play every day and try to improve."

The defenceman now hopes for an opportunity at the next level as he was selected in the fifth round of the 2020 WHL Bantam Draft.

"Hopefully, I'll get a call from the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL and go up there for a little bit but who knows," says Sotheran. "Otherwise, I'm going to keep training and keep my head up."

Sotheran notes he plans to get stronger for next season with his main goal being cracking the Winterhawks roster full time.