The Winnipeg Jets selected forward Brad Lambert with the 30th-overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft.
Lambert at one point was considered a potential top-five pick in this draft class, however nearly fell out of the opening round. The Lahti, Finland native finished the season as the No. 10-ranked European-based skater according to NHL Central Scouting after his season with the Liiga’s Pelicans organization.
The Jets can thank the New York Rangers’ playoff success in the spring for this specific selection.
Winnipeg acquired a conditional second-round pick in the Andrew Copp deal ahead of the trade deadline. The condition was that the pick would be upgraded to a first rounder if the Rangers won two playoff series and Copp played in at least 50 per cent of the games.
The Rangers advanced to the Eastern Conference Final with Copp a regular fixture in the lineup, so the pick was upgraded and now Lambert is in the Jets organization.
Lambert, whose father is Canadian and mother Finnish, is the nephew of New York Islanders head coach Lane Lambert.
The next two years will be key for the Jets franchise, and potentially full of changes, with Mark Scheifele, Connor Hellebuyck and Blake Wheeler among the notable players set to come off the books after 2023-24.
In addition to moving Copp at the deadline, Cheveldayoff also dealt Nathan Beaulieu and moved Bryan Little’s LTIR contract off the books. Does that mean Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff could make replenishing the forward pool a priority throughout the remainder of the draft and off-season?
Winnipeg went with a pair of forwards in round one, also selecting forward Rutger McGroarty of the U.S. National Team Development Program earlier in the evening with the No. 14 pick.
The Jets are currently slated to make five picks on Day 2 of the draft Friday: second round (55th overall), third round (77th overall), fourth round (99th overall), sixth round (175th overall), seventh round (207th overall).