I've done a Don Cherry piece before, and I know it's really no feat to prove his rationale wrong, nor does anyone care, but come on.
Cherry objected, mainly it seemed, to the Leafs drafting Canadian-born but Sweden-raised William Nylander with their first pick in this year's draft, over someone like, say, Orangeville's Nick Ritchie. Apparently, Toronto needs to draft more Canadians (he uses "Canada" and "Ontario" interchangeably, as though he were talking about the Netherlands), specifically big Canadians (so, no Frenchies or hippies from out west), or they simply can't compete with teams like Los Angeles - who drafted 7 Canadians this year - especially with Conn Smythe winner Justin Williams hailing from Cobourg (but drafted by Philadelphia). Sounds pretty bad, right? Over the last five drafts:
- The Leafs rank 9th in percentage of Canadian-born players selected (48.5%)
- The Leafs rank 5th among Canadian teams, ahead of Ottawa (15th, 42.9%) and Montreal (17th, 42.4%)
- The Leafs rank 3rd among Eastern Conference teams, behind Florida (5th, 52.4%) and Carolina (T-6th, 50.0%)
- Two teams - Calgary and Colorado - have drafted above 60%, 68.8% and 63.6%, respectively
- Seven teams - Edmonton, Winnipeg, Florida, Carolina, Phoenix, Vancouver - drafted between 50% and 59.9%
- Of the 12 different teams that have been to the Conference Finals in the last 5 years, two - Vancouver and Phoenix, both at 50% - drafted a higher percentage of Canadians than Toronto
Start planning the parade, Toronto! And I can't wait for all the all-Canadian Stanley Cup Final matchups.