Coach's Corner

Don Cherry rips Leafs for passing on Canadians in draft

During his first Coach’s Corner segment of the Hockey Night in Canada season, Don Cherry ripped the Toronto Leafs for filling their 2014 draft with European and U.S. college players instead of Canadians.

Says last impactful player was Wendel Clark

Don Cherry ripped the Leafs for selected Swedish player William Nylander, pictured, in the first round of the 2014 NHL draft and passing on Peterborough Petes winger Nick Ritchie. (David Cooper/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

Don Cherry has a message for new Leaf president Brendan Shanahan: draft Canadians and players from the OHL if you ever want to challenge for a Stanley Cup.

During his first Coach’s Corner segment of the Hockey Night in Canada season, Cherry ripped the Leafs' brass for picking European and U.S. college players at the 2014 NHL draft, while the Stanley Cup champion LosAngeles Kings filled their draft with Canadian players.

“We have the Stanley Cup champions, who have won two out of three Stanley Cups, right? Their [roster is] full of Canadians, full of guys from the OHL and they win two out of three," said Cherry. "How many Canadians did the Leafs draft? Zero. No stars will every come here to Toronto. Why would you? You have to go through the draft. They have not had an impact guy since Wendel Clark [drafted first overall in 1985].

Cherry’s biggest beef was Toronto passing on PeterboroughPetes winger Nick Ritchie in the first round in favour of Swedish William Nylander at No. 8. The Ducks scooped up Ritchie two picks later.

“They passed on a guy, Nick Ritchie, who is 6-foot-3, 230 pounds [and had] 100 minutes in penalties. Oh, you’re going to say he’s a dummy. Only three guys in the whole draft scored more goals than this guy. And guess who picked him up right after that… Anaheim.”

Watch Don let the Leafs have it.

Cherry didn't get a lot of backing on Twitter.


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