2022 NHL Entry Draft Mock: How Will the Board Fall?

2022 NHL Entry Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
2022 NHL Entry Draft (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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Detroit Red Wings
Brad Lambert. (Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images) /

Brad Lambert Draft Profile

The Detroit Red Wings are a terrific team in the big picture. I mean, they have one of the best prospect pools in all of hockey, but what they do lack is the talent over the middle part of the ice.

Between Dylan Larkin and Joe Veleno, there is definitely talent there. However, if you look at the other lines, Pius Suter and Mitchell Stephens are the ones manning the middle and you question their talent. That’s where Brad Lambert comes into play.

Pro Scout Breakdown

Scott Wheeler of The Athletic:

"“One of the top prospects in this age group for years, Lambert struggled out of the gate this season due to a combination of injury, illness, his own play, and the struggles of his team. Then, in search of a reset after flashing his skill at the short-lived world juniors, he left JYP, his team of the last two seasons, to return to the Pelicans, the team he was brought up in (and, at year’s end, an agency move as well). He was better than his numbers (the four goals on 132 shots in Liiga for a 3 percent shooting percentage reveal that much, and so does a close examination of his looks) for sure, but the inconsistency of his play and the mid-season move raised more questions than answers. “Still, Lambert is undeniably one of the most gifted players in this class. When he’s feeling good, he’s fearless with the puck, makes a ton of plays in control, and looks to dictate in possession. He also has both the hands and the skating to create (each of which grade out at the top of the draft). He’s got excellent control of his outside edges which allow him to carve up coverage on cutbacks and carries. “He’s slippery because of his ability to spin away from his man and make a play. He’s a good passer off his backhand. Some scouts worry about Lambert’s game without the puck in terms of both his intensity off of it and his ability to make things happen offensively when he’s not getting a ton of touches. With it, though, Lambert’s a multi-faceted threat who blends impressive puck skill with good all-around skating mechanics and an attack mentality that complements a dangerous curl-and-drag shot (which also complements the short stick he uses). “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.”"

Brad Lambert Breakdown

Brad Lambert is by far and away one of the best skaters in this draft. Now, to be realistic with this, It should be noted that he is not the best skater in this draft, but he is undoubtedly a top five skater.

Lambert has great high-end speed and great edgework that allows him to maneuver in between defenseman at the blue line and move to the insider in order to get a cleaner look. Additionally, he has also shown the ability to use his speed along the boards to draw defenseman away from the net in order to possibly find a back-door pass.

He is a great skater, and that alone makes him such a dangerous player in this draft. However, there is still more than needs to be talked about.

Yes, he is a very good skater, but that doesn’t mean as much if you can’t do other things as well. By that I’m referring to passing the puck and having a good shot. Potentially lucky for us, he has a terrific shot from the wing and has a very crisp pass- although that part of his game needs work. But, before we talk about his passing, let’s talk about his shot.

Brad Lambert has a very good wrist shot, but I was unable to find a clip of a one-timer which leads me to believe that’s probably a weak point in his game. Nonetheless, as you can see from the video I have posted below, he has quite the wrist shot.

Lambert really put everything he had into that shot which makes it a little bit less crazy how much power he had on the shot, but nonetheless, he still really showed a lot of power on the shot. If he finds a way to get the shot off a little quicker, he could truly become a terrific scorer at the next level. But they will have to work with him on developing a quicker release because he will not have time to get a shot like that off in the NHL.

In the NHL a defenseman is going to close that gap immediately and there won’t be a shot to get off. It’ll also do him some good to work on his one-timer and grow more confident in that.

Now, let’s talk about his passing ability.

During the film I was able to watch on him, he didn’t really seem to have the whole ‘playmaking’ thing down. Which, to be quite honest, is a little discouraging. As a center, your job is primarily be able to pass the puck off to the wings for good looks. Now, that’s not as much the case anymore, but if you look at most of the centers in the league- a majority of them are elite passers. Lambert is not.

On the other hand though, the fact that his passing is the one thing making me think he won’t be a star in this league is pretty impressive. There are a lot of things people look for and lucky for us, the passing thing can be taught and practiced as long as he’s willing to put the time in on it.