A young, Manitoban, hockey-playing duo will be heading southwest to Oregon in the coming weeks. The Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks recently announced the signings of forward Aiden Sotas and defenceman Carter Sotheran to standard WHL players agreements.
Sotas, 15, is a product of Birtle, and currently stands 6-foot-3 and 185-pounds. The big centreman spent the past season with the U-18 Yellowhead Chiefs, following two years of U-15 AAA play. Only getting into seven games of action before COVID shut down the year, Sotas grabbed three goals, four points and 27 penalty minutes, adding to his 30 goals, 51 points and 108 penalty minutes from the two seasons prior.
Sotheran, 16, is a native of Sanford, and tips the scales at 195 pounds, while measuring 6-foot-2 in height. Much like his fellow 2005 WHL Draft selection Sotas, Sotheran also saw limited action in his first year of U-18 AAA play in 2020-21. In four games for the Pembina Valley Hawks he managed to find the net once. In 72 games of U-15 action, the defender scored 26 goals, 76 points while adding another 76 penalty minutes.
Both players have served their U-18 teammates in leadership roles, with Sotas being an alternate captain, while Sotheran was named as Pembina Valley’s sole captain for 2020-21. Sotheran was chosen 97th overall in the fifth round in 2020, while Sotas was scooped up with pick No. 198 in the ninth round.
The WHL is set to return for a 68-game regular season in 2021-22, beginning Friday, October 1, should either Sotas or Sotheran earn a shot a roster position in their respective 16-year-old seasons. Led by Winnipeg’s Seth Jarvis, Portland finished last year second in the U.S. Division, going 13-8-3 in 24 total games.