Through 18 games for the Portland Winterhawks this season, Carter Sotheran has continued to impress the hockey world.

The Sanford native, Sotheran, has collected 5 Goals and 6 assists, contributing to his team's ascent to 3rd place in the WHL's Western Conference.

"I'd say we are playing really well," continues Sotheran. "We are one of the top teams. So, we just need to keep playing to our strengths. If we keep going, keep doing what the coach tells us and stick to our game plan, I think we'll be good."

Sotheran, now in his second season in Portland, says the dressing room believes that the Winterhawks can compete not only for the WHL crown but also for the Memorial Cup.

"When everyone's head space is on that end goal, you can see how much it drives the team and how much each game we want to win. It's a good environment. Everyone is on the same page, and I'm just looking forward to it." 

While being known for his passing and transitional game from his own end, Sotheran's scoring instincts have taken over this year, with more goals in just 18 games than the previous year when he played 68. He attributes finding the back of the net more often to learning how to finish off his chances through work in the summer. 

File Photo.Carter Sotheran. (Keith Dwiggins Photography.)

On the defensive side of the puck, Sotheran thinks he is solid.

"I am still learning in my own end, but I think it's come a long way."

The Philadelphia Flyers selected the Sanford product in Round 5, #135 overall, in this past summer's NHL Entry Draft. He says the Flyer's advice at their Rookie Camp in the off-season: put on weight.

"I have the size and the smarts to get there (the NHL). I think it's just putting on weight and muscle. So, that's one of the bigger areas they recommended."

Sotheran says his community shaped him into the player and person he is today. 

"Even though it's a pretty small place, everyone gets behind you and follows you and how you're doing. So, it's a little bit of pressure."

Sothern explains that growing up in a small town, he got to know the rink owner, a man named Tucker, who was a crucial part of #59's development.

"I'd say I wouldn't be here without him." 

The Portland Winterhawks and Sothern will take on the Everett Silvertips on Friday at 9:05 p.m. CT. 

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