LA Kings: Way-too-early mock draft has team taking Carson Lambos

LA Kings (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Christopher Mast/Getty Images) /

Regardless of the 2021 season results, the LA Kings are expected to add a big-name defenseman in the draft next year. Enter Carson Lambos.

Given how top-heavy the LA Kings prospect pool is with offensive talent, the organization is missing a true blue-chip defensive prospect to grow and develop to become the next Drew Doughty. The Kings haven’t taken a defenseman with their first pick in the NHL Draft since Kale Clague, and he was a second-rounder back in 2016.

As noted, players like Gabe Vilardi, Rasmus Kupari, Alex Turcotte, and Quinton Byfield have led the way in terms of recent first-round picks — all on the offensive side. Of course, Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti has a proven track record of finding talent in the middle rounds of the draft, as Mikey Anderson, Jordan Spence, and Cole Hults, among others, all appear on their way to promising NHL careers.

The 2021 NHL Draft projects to be stacked on top-end defensive prospects, with Owen Power a good bet to go number one overall. Much of the national media has the LA Kings finishing in the basement of the West Division in 2021, which would lend toward another top-five draft pick. As alluded to, they’ll have a number of defenders to target.

A recent mock draft has the LA Kings selecting Carson Lambos with the sixth overall pick.

Lambos is physically mature for his age. At just 17 years old, he’s already 6-foot-1, 201 pounds. The Winnipeg, Manitoba native is a left-shot defenseman consistently ranked within the top five prospects by various media outlets. Lambos was drafted second overall in the 2018 WHL Bantam Draft, playing in five games for the Kootenay ICE and scoring his first WHL goal.

“My first game was the home opener in Calgary and just coming out onto the ice to all the fans and light show was something I don’t think I will ever forget,” Lambos said. “It was a great experience and going into the game it was definitely a faster pace than I was used to, but I enjoyed the challenge and was eventually able to adjust.”

Renamed to the Winnipeg ICE, Lambos was a point-producing machine in the 19-20 season, tallying eight goals and 24 assists in 57 games. His 32 points were second-most among ICE defenders. Lambos played a major role in the team’s power play, scoring two goals with eight assists.

Friend of the site, Tony Ferrari, completed a full draft profile on the 17-year-old via Dobber Prospects.

"“A defender with no glaring weakness, Lambos is a powerful skater who can contribute in all three zones. The Winnipeg ICE  blueliner took on a big role fairly early on in his 16-year-old season, averaging over 22 minutes per game. He was relied upon defensively and showed that he was more than up to the task. He wins battles and stops cycles better than just about any player his age and doesn’t back down regardless of the level of competition. At 6’1″ and 201lbs, he has the size and strength to close on attackers physically, often leading with his stick to poke the puck free before closing in and finishing with the body.” – DobberProspects/Tony Ferrari"

Lambos is loaned to JYP of the SM-sarja Finnish Hockey League until the WHL season begins. There, he has two goals and eight points through nine games between the U20 and U18 teams.