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It was a difficult season for Carson Lambos. When the start of the WHL season was delayed due to Covid-19, the young defender went to Finland and played in the JYP system. He played just two games and limited ice-time for the big club but got in plenty of time with their junior squads. Lambos had two goals and nine assists for 11 points in the J20 league. He also added three assists in two games in the J18 League. Lambos returned home when the WHL season got underway this spring. However, he played just two games for the Winnipeg Ice before suffering a season-ending injury.
The second overall pick in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, Lambos had a solid rookie season with Winnipeg in 2019-20. He scored eight goals and 24 assists for 32 points in 57 games. Lambos also played for Team Canada White at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge. He put up five assists in six games and was named to the tournament All-Star Team. His older brother, Jonny Lambos, is also in the WHL, playing defence for the Brandon Wheat Kings.
Carson Lambos Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Left
Born January 14th, 2003 — Winnipeg, Manitoba
Height 6’1″ — Weight 201 lbs [185 cm/91 kg]
Lambos excellent skating ability helps him to play a strong two-way game. He has a great first step and excellent acceleration reaching top speed in just a few strides. His top-end speed is very good and allows him to carry the puck past forecheckers and out of the defensive zone. This strong speed is also true of his backwards skating. Lambos has very good agility and edgework. This helps him to maintain good gap control defensively and to walk the line laterally in the offensive zone. His pivots are crisp which help him to transition from offence to defence and vice-versa. Lambos has good lower body strength. He is strong on the puck and capable of winning battles along the boards and in front of the net.
Lambos has a very good slap shot and one-timer. He generates excellent power. He also has a knack for getting the puck on the net despite facing traffic in front of him. Lambos moves well to get open and to create a shooting lane. He understands how to keep the puck low and on the net, giving his teammates the opportunity to get deflections and rebounds. Lambos also likes to sneak down to the top of the faceoff circle, getting closer to the net, and can get off a strong wrist shot with a quick release from this spot. His skating allows him to pinch at the blue line and keep the offensive play alive.
Even with his good skating, Lambos doesn’t carry the puck and lead the rush often. He will skate the puck out of danger in the defensive zone and then start the rush with a good first pass. Lambos has good vision and his passes are accurate. He can also make a long breakaway pass if a defender gets behind the defence. He is willing to join the rush as a trailer. Lambos is more of the trigger man on the power play than a passer, but he can control the puck and move laterally to open up passing and shooting lanes. He needs to continue to work on this aspect of his game though, moving the puck a bit quicker to take advantage of opportunities to set up a teammate.
Lambos is quick to retrieve dump ins and loose pucks and transition the puck up the ice. By limiting the amount of time he spends in the defensive end, he maximizes his defensive game. His strong skating allows him to maintain good gap control. He is tough to beat in one-on-one situations, forcing attackers to the outside and into poor shooting opportunities. If the attacker has his head down, Lambos can explode into a powerful body check. He sometimes needs to be a bit more disciplined at not getting out of position to throw those big hits, but this is a minor critique. Lambos is good positionally and keeps himself between his man and the front of the net. He uses his stick and his body to cut down passing and shooting lanes.
Projection and Comparison
Lambos has the potential to be a top-pairing defender in the NHL. He is very strong defensively for his age and if this development continues he could play against top lines at the next level. With the limited games he played due to the pandemic and injuries he will need more time in junior and is likely to be in the WHL for the next two seasons. If he can improve his offensive game and become a true power-play quarterback, he could be a franchise defenceman. As it stands though, he is more likely to become a team’s second or third best defender. Lambos game is reminiscent of Alex Pietrangelo (H/T to Gabriel Foley), but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Carson Lambos that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for our next NHL Draft Article.
Carson Lambos Scouting Report Main Photo:
EVERETT, WASHINGTON – NOVEMBER 16: Winnipeg Ice defenseman Carson Lambos #7 skates the puck into the neutral zone during the first period of a game against the Everett Silvertips at Angel of the Winds Arena on November 16, 2019 in Everett, Washington. (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)