2020-21 Team: Winnipeg ICE (#7)
Date of Birth: January 14, 2003
Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Ht: 6-foot-1 Wt: 201 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
NHL Central Scouting: 11th (amongst NA skaters)
The Hockey Writers (Zator): 31st
The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 25th
The Hockey Writers (Forbes): 14th
Dobber Prospects: 28th
Craig Button, TSN: 12th
Bob McKenzie, TSN: 15th
Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet: 18th
Once projected in the top ten – even top five – Carson Lambos may have fallen slightly in some rankings, but shouldn’t be overlooked when talking about the defensive prospects in the 2021 NHL Draft. He has the size and the skill to be a fringe top-pairing blueliner, while a second-pairing spot should be a guarantee for the 18-year-old. And while he’s fallen into the latter part of the first round, Lambos will have a quick impact on whichever team does draft him.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
His injury this season certainly didn’t help his case, but those that’ve had their eye on him know exactly what he brings to the lineup. His maturity in his own end is unlike many others in this draft and his ability to be an offensive threat as well makes him a double threat.
When it comes to his defensive play, Lambos is strong on dump-ins and has the ability to turn the puck back up ice quickly both in seeing the seams to move the puck as well as using his smooth skating to get it out of his own end. He pushes opponents to the outside and when it comes to one-on-one battles forces other players into low-danger opportunities.
While he won’t be the biggest guy on the backend, Lambos doesn’t shy away from the physical play and goes into the dirty areas along the boards to retrieve pucks. He’s played in all situations, including the power play and on the penalty kill with significant success.
His skating and endurance alone should make him a good project for teams looking for a top-four defenceman in the next few years and, assuming he drops in the first round, he could be the steal of the first round.
Other THW Draft Profiles:
Carson Lambos – NHL Draft Projection
In the case of Lambos, it was a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately that saw him drop in some rankings. That, along with some inconsistent play in Finland, and the once top-10 pick has dropped to the latter part of the first round. Still, don’t think that he’s not a first-round talent. Lambos picked anywhere after the 15th overall pick could go down as a first-round steal when we look back at this draft in a few years.
“A defender with no glaring weakness, Lambos is a powerful skater who can contribute in all three zones.” – Tony Ferrari, Dobber Prospects
“He is no slouch when it comes to defensive play either. Standing at 6-foot-1, he has good size for today’s game and when called upon, can play a physical game. He plays with an active stick and his defensive positioning is really solid.” – Mathieu Sheridan, The Hockey Writers
“Lambos possesses excellent mobility and quickness for a defenceman with powerful, sturdy frame. He isn’t a consistent end-to-end rusher like most high-end defence prospects but eluding or out-pacing forecheck pressure is one of Lambos’ major strengths.” – Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst
- Defensive Play
- Hockey IQ
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
There’s very little to pick apart about Lambos’ game. Consistency and over-confidence might be two small parts of his game that he can improve on as he develops into a top-end NHL defenceman. He likes to make some high-risk decisions at times on the ice which can lead to the play going the other way, but that’s a simple case of immaturity on the ice – something that comes with experience.
To think that Lambos will end up as anything but a top-four defenceman in the near future would be a mistake. He has top-pairing potential and developed the right way, by the right organization, Lambos could be a stud defenceman at the NHL level contributing at both ends of the ice at some point in the next few years.
Risk – 2.5/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10, Defence – 8/10
While the list isn’t lengthy, Lambos was named to the U17 World Hockey Championship all-star team in 2019-20. With COVID hitting the hockey world over the past couple of seasons, he hasn’t had a chance to really grow that trophy case.
Carson Lambos Statistics
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.