Jets’ Pair of Prospects Medal, But Don’t Excel at 2022 World Juniors

Eight months after the 2022 World Junior Championship was canceled just a few days in due to COVID-19, the long-awaited rescheduled event took place over the past two weeks in Edmonton. Although the crowds were small overall, the gold medal game was quite exciting, with Canada triumphing over Finland, 3-2, in overtime.

Related: 2022 World Junior Championship: Each Nation’s MVP

The Jets had a pair of prospects representing their countries and they experienced a mixed bag of results, with their teams achieving more success than they did personally.

Torgersson Scores Pair of Goals, Captures Bronze

Left-winger Daniel Torgersson scored twice in Sweden’s round-robin game against Switzerland, including this nifty deflection from the high slot.

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Ultimately, those were the 2020 second rounder’s only points of the tournament. He played in all seven games, finishing with two points, 11 shots, a plus-2 rating, and a bronze medal as Sweden defeated Czechia 3-1.

Torgersson spent most of 2021-22 with AIK, a team in HockeyAllsvenskan, which is the second tier of Swedish hockey under the Swedish Hockey League. The 20-year-old had 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 40 games and a plus-14 rating.

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He also made his North American professional and Jets’ organization debuts, suiting up for four late-season games with the Manitoba Moose and recording one goal and two assists. He signed a three-year entry-level deal in April.

Lambert Finds Himself a Healthy Scratch for Finland

Brad Lambert got off to a strong start, scoring a second-period goal in Finland’s opening game against Latvia. It was all downhill for him from there, however, as he failed to record another point for the rest of the tournament and was a healthy scratch for the semi-final against Sweden and the gold medal game against Canada.

The Jets selected Lambert 30th-overall last month in Montreal with the pick they received in the March trade that sent Andrew Copp to the New York Rangers. A year ago, he was considered a top-10 or even a top-five pick, but he tumbled badly as he clearly fell out of favour due to a shaky 2021-22 season in Liiga with JYP.

Brad Lambert, JYP
Brad Lambert with JYP last season. (Mandatory Credit: Jiri Halttunen)

Although a dynamic player and a potential steal for GM Kevin Cheveldayoff, one knock on Lambert in the past has been that he doesn’t use his teammates very well. That was one of the reasons Finland’s coach Antti Pennanen cited as to why Lambert was scratched.

It has not been a great past 12 months for Lambert, and he’ll undoubtedly welcome the fresh start the 2022-23 season provides. Where he’ll play, though, is a bit of a mystery. He is not under contract in Finland, and his WHL rights are owned by the Seattle Thunderbirds, who acquired them from the Saskatoon Blades in June. As an international, he could also play for the Moose in the AHL.

Some pundits expressed Lambert’s World Juniors performance only confirmed scouts’ existing reservations of him, while others felt he was “sandbagged” and deserved more playing time.

Trio From Original Tourney Didn’t Go to Reboot

In December, the Jets had four prospects at the tournament: Torgersson, Russian Nikita Chibrikov, American Chaz Lucius, and Canadian Cole Perfetti.

Chaz Lucius of the USDP
Chaz Lucius was one of three Jets’ prospects at the original tournament who did not get to play in the reboot. (Photo: Rena Laverty)

Chibrikov didn’t go as Russia was banned from all IIHF events back in February due to their invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, Lucius and Perfetti didn’t go because they had both recently recovered from injuries — Lucius had knee surgery and Perfetti suffered a pair of injuries that kept him out from February onward. Both will be a part of Jets’ training camp next month.

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