On the heels of the NHL Draft Combine, several top prospects were invited to Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final, offering a unique chance to meet the stars they’ll be measured against along with, of course, Don Cherry.
It is one of Cherry’s favourite segments of the year — an opportunity to speak with some of the potential future faces of hockey before they’ve even heard their names called on draft night.
Joining Cherry this year were potential top picks Kirby Dach, Dylan Cozens, Bowen Byram, Alex Turcotte and Jack Hughes. Topping the list of questions answered were the types of pre-game meals each player eats prior to competition.
“The mothers always say ‘ask them what they eat,’” Cherry said. “Pre-game meal, they want to know.”
Across the board, the answers stayed in familiar territory. Turcotte and Byram mentioned chicken and rice, while Dach preferred chicken and pasta and Cozens went with fettucine alfredo and chicken, more specifically.
Hughes, the presumptive first-overall pick in the draft, went with red meat instead, saying his pre-game meal of choice was steak and rice — much to Ron MacLean’s delight.
“Jack, steak, I was happy to see old school for the [likely] number-one pick,” MacLean said later in the segment.
In addition to pre-game meal preferences, each prospect named who their favourite players were.
Cozens and Hughes named Chicago Blackhawks’ duo Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane, respectively, while Byram and Dach opted for Toronto Maple Leafs stars with Byram choosing Auston Matthews and Dach choosing Mitchell Marner. Turcotte stayed away from the teammates trend, declaring Sidney Crosby as his favourite.
Cherry also took time to offer advice to the St. Louis Blues for the duration of their Stanley Cup Final series against the Boston Bruins.
“Now watch them skate away, that’s the way to do it. He gets hit in the face, turn around and walk away. No sense in getting Rask mad, Chara mad and those guys mad,” Cherry said of the Blues abstaining from letting themselves get involved with altercations after the whistle. “Don’t get involved. It’s okay to hit. But don’t be a dumb-dumb.”