The Winnipeg Jets announced this evening that they’ve signed prospect Brad Lambert to a three-year, entry-level deal. Lambert, the 30th overall selection of the 2022 draft, had a very impressive training camp before being sent to the AHL late last week. The deal will carry an AAV of $1.2MM the team says, though his cap hit will be only $950K.
Lambert’s signing doesn’t necessarily point to the young forward being recalled imminently or even any time soon, but it does allow him to play in the AHL outside of a tryout. Impressive as he was in training camp, Lambert did struggle to produce offensively during his time in the Finnish Liiga, recording just 27 points in 99 games over the previous four seasons split between three teams. His production also did not take the step forward one would hope for in his draft year either, registering just four points in 25 games for his hometown Lahti Pelicans.
This lack of production was likely a key factor in Lambert slipping all the way down to number 30 in this year’s draft. Though Seattle Kraken forward Shane Wright was the closest the 2022 draft class had to a consensus number one pick (and ultimately, that did not go as expected anyways), Lambert was at times thought to be able to go near that number one slot. After his strong camp, it appears a good deal of Lambert’s stock has been rebuilt, but now it will be up to him to prove he can produce at the professional level and now in North America.
For the specific financial picture, PuckPedia breaks down the contract as follows: a $950,000 base salary and a $95,000 signing bonus for all three seasons. The second and third seasons will include up to $375,000 in performance bonuses in each year. The contract also includes an $82,500 minors salary.