It’s that time of year again! We’re less than a month away from the first round of the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, on Thursday, July 7. The Columbus Blue Jackets will be picking at #6 and #12.
Team: Pelicans (Liiga)
Date of Birth: December 19, 2003
Birthplace: Lahti, Finland
Weight: 183 lbs
Ranked #13 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #14 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #8 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #11 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #8 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #42 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #10 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (EU Skaters)
Ranked #20 by SPORTSNET
Ranked #10 by ISS HOCKEY
Ranked #16 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #28 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #13 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #5 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #10 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
Games Played: 49
By the time the 12th pick rolls around in the 2022 NHL Draft, there won’t be a clear picture as to who will be picked when. Outside of Nemec and Jiricek, the next defenseman are lefties and likely outside of what Jarmo and company are looking for. That means the Blue Jackets’ second pick is likely to be a forward. The question is which one.
Brad Lambert is a prospect that scouts are split on. Most have him as a first round pick, but he’s ranked as high as 5th (Smaht Scouting) and as low as 28th (Dobber Prospects). The pro-Lambert crowd likes his hockey IQ, puck skills, skating ability, and possession minded play in the offensive zone. Those on the other side are critical of his shot, his defensive play, and note the struggle he’s had scoring in Liiga, Finland’s top league.
One does wonder if the Finland connection comes into play for Jarmo. The recent shift in drafting philosophy towards skill and speed versus size and “grit” may signal the desire to draft someone like Lambert or Nazar instead of Geekie in that 12th spot. In my uneducated opinion, Lambert doesn’t seem to have as high of a ceiling as Nazar, but the Finnish connection could give Jarmo some insight that other GMs don’t have.
He plays pucks into space beautifully, gets to the interior (against his peers, at least), splits lanes, cuts off the wall aggressively (though again, more often against his peers than pros), and has a low base to his stride that allows him to extend plays (though he does have a bit of a hunch to his posture, which can put him off balance). He’s excellent on the point and half wall on the power play because of his puck skill, dangerous wrister off the flank and playmaking instincts but he’s going to have to make plays more consistently at even strength to fulfill his top-six upside. Even after everything, I thought about ranking him a couple of spots higher than this. - Scott Wheeler, The Athletic
When it comes to puck movement, Lambert thinks two moves ahead. He will complete behind the back passes as he cuts to centered ice and a teammate comes rushing up the left half-wall. If he collects the puck off of a pass when he’s near the corner facing the blue line, he’ll skate towards the blue line, button hook, and throw a pass back to the corner. That brings the defender with him and opens up ice down low in the corner. Lambert is aware that with his excellent puck skills that he can lure defenders to him and open up lanes for his teammates. - Josh Tessler, Smaht Scouting
Lambert’s defensive game still isn’t at an adequate level to play center at the pro level and he still needs plenty of work in terms of physicality and strength. As mentioned, Lambert obviously has a ton of skill in his toolkit, but he just doesn’t seem to be able to get it together, and after two and half years of experience in Liiga, he still hasn’t been able to take that next step. We hope he can bounce back as Aatu Räty did, but it is difficult to justify ranking him higher than this at this point. - Dobber Prospects