It's hard to imagine the New York Islanders will actually use their draft pick to make their first-round selection at the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. After a disappointing season, Isles GM Lou Lamoriello has been outspoken about improving the current roster and has even been uncharacteristically open about how he plans to do that. "Hockey trades" continues to be the trending topic around the Islanders as the 2022 NHL Playoffs take place and Islander fans are left wondering what the future looks like in just a couple of weeks from now. The plan for the 13th overall pick that the Islanders own is most likely to trade it in order to improve the immediate roster. Things don't always go as planned, however, and the Isles are doing their due diligence on who they might select in the first round if they don't end up moving the draft pick.
It was reported on Thursday by the NHL's Mike Morreale that the Islanders have interviewed projected first-round pick, Brad Lambert. If that name looks familiar, it is. Lambert is the nephew of the Islanders' new head coach, Lane Lambert. It's more of a coincidence than a keep it in the family thing as Lambert is a legitimate prospect projected to be selected anywhere between picks 10 to 15.
When asked about his uncle's promotion as head coach of the Islanders, the 18-year-old Lahti, Finnish native stated:
"He's worked hard for some time now as an assistant coach and I think he deserved the job. So I'm very happy for him."- Brad Lambert
Lambert's skill set is best described as "a dynamic offensive threat, combining high-end skating with excellent handling and dual-threat capabilities." In Corey Pronman's latest top 127 prospects, he ranks Lambert 14th overall as a future middle-of-the-lineup NHL center or winger and compares him to Andre Burakovsky.
We'll see if the Islanders trade the pick or actually use it, but if they select Lambert 13th overall, there's plenty to be excited about in a prospect like him.
"Lambert is a high-end athlete. His skating ability is explosive. He has great speed and edgework, allowing him to cut away from pressure easily. You combine his skating with strong hands and he’s a go-to guy for zone entries. He can make tough plays in motion and shows O-zone creativity. He can use his skating to circle too much at times but this season showed more willingness to attack directly. He’s full of potential, even though I’ve seen him take a lot of nights off. I think he will be a top-six winger in the NHL but he may frustrate coaches."- Corey Pronman