Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Brad Lambert Scouting Report.
Brad Lambert has long been considered one of the top prospects in the 2022 NHL Draft. Once expected to challenge for a top-two pick, that now seems unlikely after a disappointing season. The Finnish-born son of Canadian former pro hockey player, Ross Lambert is still an intriguing draft prospect. His uncle Lane Lambert was recently named New York Islanders head coach.
Lambert spent most of the year playing in the SM Liiga. He started the year with JYP, putting up two goals and six points in 24 games. At mid-season, he was transferred to the Lahti Pelicans, where he scored two goals and four points in 25 games.
Lambert did better on the international stage. He put up one goal and five points in two games at the World Juniors before the tournament was postponed due to a COVID outbreak. Lambert also excelled in tournament play in 2020-21. He scored three goals in three games at the Hlinka-Gretzky tournament. He also put up five assists in five games at the Under 18 World Championships. Lambert won a bronze medal at the World Juniors, with one goal and four points in seven games.
Brad Lambert Scouting Report
Centre/Right Wing — shoots Right
Born December 19th, 2003 — Lahti, Finland
Height 6’1″ — Weight 179 lbs [185 cm/81 kg]
Lambert is a dynamic skater. His stride is nearly textbook. It gives him excellent acceleration and top-end speed. Lambert can take a defender wide and cut to the net. His edgework and agility are also close to elite. His ability to move laterally, make quick stops and starts and change directions on a dime can catch defenders flat-footed and make them look silly at times. Lambert is also able to change speeds, slowing down to create shooting and passing lanes. His stride also gives him power and balance. He is very tough to knock off the puck. Lambert can fight through checks and keeps his feet moving to get to the net. This aspect of his game should only improve as he matures and adds muscle to his frame. He can use this muscle as there are times he can be overpowered in battles along the boards.
Lambert marries his skating with outstanding puckhandling ability. He can make plays while moving at top speed. This helps him to carry the puck through the neutral zone, weaving through traffic and generating effective zone entries. On the rush, he is tough to contain and can beat defenders in one-0n-one situations. Lambert also does a good job of controlling the puck in the offensive zone, working the cycle game and maintaining puck possession. However, his vision and decision-making can use some improvement. Lambert can wait a little too long at times to make a pass to a teammate, getting himself into trouble as he skates himself into trouble. Most of his passes are short quick passes to keep the cycle going, rather than a cross-ice play to set up a chance.
Lambert can also continue to work on his shot. He has a quick and deceptive release and that really helps him. However, his wrist shot lacks power at times. Most of his goals come close to the net. Lambert has the soft hands to make a deke and finish in tight. He can elevate the puck quickly on both his forehand and back hand. However, he prefers to play on the perimeter, rather than driving the net consistently. When he gets to the front of the net, he is effective, but this is something that he needs to do more often. His speed helps him to get in quickly on the forecheck. This allows him to pressure defenders and force them into mistakes.
Lambert’s skating also helps him in the defensive end of the ice. He can get back quickly to support the defence both against the rush and down low on the cycle game. He also has a good stick. Lambert cuts down passing lanes and creates turnovers. When a turnover is created, he is quick to transition the puck up the ice and start the rush. However, his lack of size and strength has been a liability at times. This is likely due to the fact that he has been playing in Finland’s top men’s league as a teenager. As he gets bigger and stronger, this will be less of a concern.
Projection and Comparison
Lambert is a bit of a boom or bust prospect at this point. His skating and puck-handling skills are amongst the best in this draft. However, there are concerns that he doesn’t make the most of these skills. His vision and decision-making as a playmaker are questioned and his wrist shot needs to improve to be a goal scorer. If a team is able to help him develop those areas, they could have a real gem on their hands. However, if they don’t come along, he will be a bottom-six forward, whose speed will be used to kill penalties and play an up-tempo energy game. In terms of style, Lambert reminds me of Michael Grabner, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Brad Lambert that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Brad Lambert tosses the monkey off of his back with his first of the year on the penalty shot.
Here's hoping it gets him rolling in the right direction. #2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/3r6lMKUZEJ
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) October 20, 2021
Brad Lambert's ears must've been burning because he nabbed a goal and an assist this morning.
Little chip, chase, wheel and snipe.
Not bad. pic.twitter.com/5akLw5ZQyR
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) March 11, 2022
Brad Lambert with an eventful shift
First, a shifty move in the offensive end to set up a pretty primary assist
He's then hit hard and apparently flipped off the opposing player to receive 5+10 for unsportsmanlike conduct
He's up to 4 points in 15 Liiga games on the year pic.twitter.com/OawwmPFG6o
— /Cam Robinson/ (@Hockey_Robinson) November 5, 2021
15 year old Brad Lambert with a nasty fake backhand cut forehand move in the SO. pic.twitter.com/3SJ3tv56Ly
— Pavel Barber (@HeyBarber) March 20, 2019
Brad Lambert, turned 17 just a week ago. One to watch for at or near the top of the 2022 NHL draft. pic.twitter.com/o4uMOptELD
— IcehockeyGifs (@IcehockeyG) December 26, 2020
Brad Lambert also has my attention. And just like that the Finns have quickly tied it. #2022NHLDraft #U18Worlds pic.twitter.com/4tf6rlZZIG
— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) April 27, 2021
Brad Lambert is so good at problem solving in the neutral zone.
This was a slick backhand feed to his teammate. He saw that the attacker was not trying to eliminate the passing lane and he took it. #2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/FioeBWIjNB
— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) March 10, 2022
Extremely fun Brad Lambert (#50 in teal) sequence from his first game (Jan 18 vs Lukko) back with Lahti (Lahden).#2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/Rp4ij6juNx
— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) January 20, 2022
Check back tomorrow for our latest 2022 NHL Draft Article.
Brad Lambert Scouting Report Main Photo:
EDMONTON, AB – DECEMBER 26: Brad Lambert #33 of Finland skates against goaltender Sebastian Wraneschitz #30 of Austria in the first period during the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship at Rogers Place on December 27, 2021 in Edmonton, Canada. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images)