Reviewing the 2018 NHL Draft for the Columbus Blue Jackets

The Blue Jackets made six total picks at the 2018 NHL Draft. They were only able to find one NHL player.
2018 NHL Draft - Portraits
2018 NHL Draft - Portraits / Tom Pennington/GettyImages
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2. RW Kirill Marchenko, second round (#49 overall)

As bad as the Liam Foudy pick is turning out to be, the Kirill Marchenko selection in the second round makes up for it. If you dig deep into your brain and tell it the picks were made the other way around, it's not that bad.

Marchenko was widely thought of as a first round talent for the 2018 draft, but he fell into the mid-second because of his nationality. The Jackets were willing to be patient with the highly talented Russian winger, and their patience has paid off.

After spending four post-draft seasons in the KHL, Marchenko came to the Blue Jackets in 2022 as a polished, NHL-ready player. He started his first year in North America in the AHL (still bizarre to me); but when called up to the big club, he made an immediate impact and has never looked back.

In two seasons with the Jackets, Marchenko has compiled 44 goals and 67 points - already 19th-best amongst players taken at the 2018 draft. It's important to footnote that he's played at least 72 games fewer than every player ahead of him (basically, a full season) - and 303 games fewer than the player at the top of the list (Brady Tkachuk).

Our verdict: Grand slam. Marchenko should be re-signed this summer to a long-term deal. He's an important core piece of this team.

3. LW Marcus Karlberg, third round (#80 overall)

The Blue Jackets went to Sweden for their third pick of the draft, nabbing undersized winger Marcus Karlberg with the 80th overall selection.

Karlberg was tabbed as a speedy, hard working winger who went to the hard areas and competed. This all sounded great, and the hope here was that he would develop into a depth scoring winger in the NHL. There was just one problem...

...he couldn't score enough to become a depth scoring player in the NHL.

He didn't even score enough to become a depth player in the SHL. Karlberg didn't even make an impact in the SHL until 2020-21 - where he's been a fringe/depth player ever since. Not only did he not play in the NHL - I don't even think this guy was ever good enough for the AHL.

Our verdict: Bust. Hindsight pick: Anaheim selected their future starting goaltender, Lukas Dostal, just five picks later.

The Jackets were far from finished drafting, but they would have to wait quite a bit to make the rest of their picks...