Carson Lambos is officially the newest member of the Kootenay Ice.
At a press conference on Monday morning, the 15-year-old defenceman signed a standard player agreement as a show of commitment to the Cranbrook club. Lambos was Kootenay’s first pick at the 2018 Bantam Draft on May 3, going second overall.
— Kootenay ICE (@WHLKootenayICE) May 28, 2018
Lambos said that the moment was a big step in his young career.
“I was super happy and excited to finally put the pen to paper and make it official,” he told local media. “I know that the [Ice] have really big plans ahead so I hope I can help them succeed [by] contributing some offence and help on defence as well.”
Standing at just over six feet tall and weighing nearly 200 pounds, Lambos is expected to develop into a considerable force for the franchise. Born and raised in Winnipeg, he played last season at Rink Hockey Academy Bantam Prep of the CSSBHL and had 40 points in 30 games.
Honoured as that league’s top defenceman, Lambos went on to put up 11 points in five playoff games and also had 10 points in six games at the prestigious John Reid Bantam Memorial tournament.
After taking in Cranbrook over the weekend and meeting with the club’s top brass, including President and General Manager Matt Cockell, Lambos expressed significant excitement in eventually becoming a player for the team.
“The town is super nice [and] I enjoyed some golf and [took in some] really great weather,” he said. “The scenery is obviously amazing and it looks like a great place to spend my future.”
Lambos is set to join a tremendous core of young talent with the Ice, who drafted forwards Peyton Krebs with the first overall pick in 2016 and Connor McClennon with the second overall pick in 2017. While he will only be eligible to play five games as an underage player next season, Lambos should be a full participant at training camp this fall.
In addition to Lambos, the Ice also announced the signing of second-round picks Karter Prosofsky and Skyler Bruce. Propofsky, a defenceman from Saskatoon, was taken with the 26th overall pick, while Bruce, a forward from Winnipeg who also plays for Rink Academy, was taken 29th overall.
Prosofsky played in 24 games with the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy Bantam Prep of the CSSHL and had eight goals and 18 points. Bruce suited up in 30 regular season games and potted 21 goals and 40 points, adding three goals and five assists in five playoff games.
“The player experience [is very] important [and] our plan is to become the best place in the CHL to develop,” said Cockell. “[Having] Carson, Skyler and Karter all committing to our program is a testament to the work that we’ve put in.”
The GM added that all three players address vital needs for the organization moving forward and should all be important members of the team moving forward.
“Defence is a really tough position to find talent and Carson does everything that you look for in an elite defenceman,” Cockell said. “Propofsky brings a bit of an edge annd is a right shot, [which] might be a good fit with Carson being a left [shot]. Skyler is a really intelligent player [who] puts the puck in the net.”
Puck drop for the 2017-18 season is just over three months away, with the Ice looking to re-enter the playoff picture after a three-year absence.