2021-22 Team: Pelicans (Liiga)
Date of Birth: Dec. 19, 2003
Place of Birth: Lahti, Finland
Ht: 6’0” Wt: 179 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 5th (among EUR skaters)
- Future Considerations: 5th
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 7th
- Andrew Forbes’ March Rankings: 7th
- Matthew Zator’s February Rankings: 8th
- SMAHT Scouting: 2nd
- Bob McKenzie’s Mid-Season Rankings: 11th
- Dobber Prospects Mid-Season Rankings: 13th
He may be one of the more controversial picks in the first round — not because he’s not a talented forward, rather his consistency has lacked over the past year or so. Some still have him ranked amongst the top five, while others have him slipping as far as outside the top-10 into a mid-first-round pick.
Lambert started this season with Liiga’s JYP, but quickly moved on in mid-January to the Pelicans after a sub-par start. However, the move didn’t do much for the 18-year-old who had just four points in 25 regular season games for the Pelicans. The difference being he got an opportunity to play some playoff hockey with the Pelicans, a team he felt was a good fit for him as they were in need of a player.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
That said, he did have a good start to the U20 World Juniors that were eventually postponed, putting up a goal and five points in just two games while representing Finland. So there’s no question the skill is there. For Lambert, however, it might just be a development thing in which he needs a little more time to adapt to the league he’s playing in while going up against older players.
While his numbers with the Pelicans weren’t exactly accurate of what he’s able to do, there’s still a lot of upside to Lambert’s game and the undeniable skill set is what teams will be looking for come draft day.
His speed is incredible. He’s a player that can beat defenders one-on-one with the puck and he allows himself to operate at top speed. His instincts are impressive in that he sees the game at a high level as well. He can open up seams and make passes through dangerous slots, but if there’s a criticism around Lambert it’s that he doesn’t use his teammates enough.
He’s such a dynamic player that often he leaves his teammates out of the play which can cost him at times. That could be a major reason as to why consistency has been an issue for the young Finn. Still, the move to the men’s league this seasons could be the best development move for the draft-eligible forward as he’s faced a lot more of a physical game that should ready him for the jump to the NHL at some point in the next couple of years.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Brad Lambert – NHL Draft Projection
This will be an interesting selection as some scouts have him sitting in a top-five position, while others have him as low as 15th on their respective lists. The likelihood that he falls outside the top-10 isn’t high as his skill level is too much to write off, however, he could fall to 11th or 12th depending on how everything shakes out ahead of him. Look for Lambert to go somewhere in the eight to 12 range.
“Lambert moves fast, but he has great hockey instincts when playing at speed. His vision is something that is a cut above. Those are two things that scouts look for and it seems like it’s hard-wired into Lambert’s brain especially when he brings the puck up the ice.” – Russ Cohen, Elite Prospects
“While the high-end skill level is still very much apparent, Lambert hasn’t been able to put it all together, resulting in less-than-expected production. His off-puck play has left some to be desired.” – Josh Bell, FC Hockey
“Has played for a number of teams the past couple years, and switching Liiga teams mid-season isn’t the best look. From a pure play perspective, there’s everything to like about his speed, playmaking ability, and creativity.” – Sam Cosentino, Sportsnet
- Skating and speed
- Puck control
- 1-on-1 rushes
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Consistency of play
- Utilizing teammates
Realistically, Lambert’s looking at a two to three year road to the NHL. Even then, that might be the best case scenario. There are a number of holes in his game that needs some patch work before he can fully embrace his top-tier skill and that will take time. The tools are there and if he can start clicking on all sides of his game, he should be able to develop nicely into a top six role at the NHL level in due time.
Risk – 3/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense – 7.5/10, Defense – 5.5/10
Lambert started his trophy case in 2018-19 when he was part of the team that earned the bronze medal at the European Youth Olympic Festival. On top of that, he was named the best forward of that tournament. Once again in 2020-21, Lambert struck bronze with a medal at the U20 World Juniors where he had four points in seven games. Surely this won’t be the last of his accomplishments as he clearly adds an element of success to teams that he plays on.
Brad Lambert Statistics
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.