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Blue Jackets draft day thread; Upside with first two picks

June 23, 2018, 11:01 AM ET [3 Comments]
Paul Berthelot
Columbus Blue Jackets Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Day two of the draft is about to get underway. The Blue Jackets have picks 49, 80, 173 and 204. As picks are made and things happen I will update the blog with quick thoughts on each player.

The Jackets should be aiming for upside here, especially at 49. There are plenty of first round talents still available here in round 2. As we get deeper in the draft there will be plenty of sleeper picks available.

49: Kirill Marchenko - LW This is a really nice pick. Marchencho is a big but highly skilled player. Has some of the best hands in this class. He's a good skater for a big guy. He played this past season in the MHL where he had 16 points in 31 games. He fared much better in international play, with six points in five games at the Under-18's.

80: Marcus Karlberg-LW Another really strong pick. Karlberg is undersized at 5'8 but he's skilled. He put up 47 points in 39 games in the SuperElit. Those 47 points tied him for fifth in the league. Canucks Army ranked him as their 74th prospect, one of the only places to even rank Karlberg.

From that article 31.6% of Karlberg's comparables went on to have NHL success and they averaged 48 NHL points. This is a real upside pick.

We have a trade. The Blue Jackets have traded their 2019 5th round pick for pick 159.

159: Tim Berni-D Berni is an interesting player in that he's an undersized defencemen at 5'11, but hasn't been a big point producer. Playing in Switzerland in the NLB he had 15 points in 36 games. He played eight games in the NLA in the regular season and then another 15 in the playoffs. He recorded no points. He has decent hands and a big shot, but overall his offensive game isn't there yet. The Jackets will have to be patient with this pick.

173: Veini Vehvilainen-G A big off the board pick but one that I like. Vehvilainen is a re-entry player born in 1997. He's undersized at 6'0 but he can stop the puck. He had a .925 save percentage in 35 games in the Liiga and a .933 in the playoffs leading his team to the championship. He also won the Liiga equivalent of the Vezina for his play this season. He's been a good goalie everywhere he's gone, not just the Liiga but he played well for Finland at the World Juniors last season. He stops the puck.

204: Trey-Fix Wolansky-RW In typical Jackets form they went with another overaged player late. Wolansky isn't your typical overager. He just finished his second season in the WHL as he opted to play his age 16 season in the AJHL. Wolansky is another small skill player, he's 5'8 but had a breakout season offensively. He put up 89 points in 71 games playing for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, good for 18th in the WHL.

Baring another trade this will be it for the Jackets picks. They did well here on day two. They went for skill and upside and with the exception of Berni everyone they picked has been remarkably successful in the league they played in. The Jackets went smaller this draft and that's the way the league is trending. Overall with the exception of their first round pick. They did a really nice job.

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