During the first Coach’s Corner segment of the season (now half as long! Thank you, Sportsnet), outspoken analyst and big Maple Leafs fan Don Cherry discussed the Leafs’ approach to drafting under the new regime. As always, it was hilarious, maybe even intentionally so.
And, yes, the Caps were even mentioned.
Caps mention begins at 1:05 mark.
“Let me just tell you that the LA Kings, the Stanley Cup champions, drafted seven [Canadians] — after the Swede — but they draft seven guys out of the OHL,” a yelling Cherry began. “You know how many Canadians the Maple Leafs drafted? Zero!”
“The only other team that didn’t draft a Canadian in the National Hockey League was the other loser, Washington,” he said. “[Toronto] drafted none!”
Then Cherry started rambling about how infinitely better Nick Ritchie is than William Nylander and I don’t even know. Whatever, dude.
The table below shows the percentage of Canadian players drafted by NHL teams since the 2010.
The Caps are dead last– the only club in single digits, too. Cherry is actually right. Weird.
But I have a few qualms with some other things he said.
Why don’t the Caps draft Canadians aggressively? I can’t say that I agree with this theory, but I’ve seen people saying the Canadian Hockey League, where most draftees from north of the border play, is over-scouted and NHL teams overvalue them.
The more substantial argument to me is that the Canadian development system hasn’t provided the results to remove doubts about the continuation of Canadian dominance. In the last five years, Canadian junior teams have combined for a total of one gold medal-winning performance in U18 and U20 World Juniors. Russia, Sweden, and Finland have one each as well, while the US have an eye-popping six.
Thanks for an advice Don. You can keep the Canadians; we’ll keep our good drafting.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.