Canada Day: Bodog’s Top Five Canadian Sports Stars
Who wants a history lesson to celebrate our beloved nation as Canada celebrates its 1555h birthday?
We didn’t think so. Instead, to celebrate Canada Day with our wonderful players, we’re going to do something much more fun.
We’re going to celebrate Canada’s top five current sports stars.
The Great White North has been home to some of the greatest sporting personalities to grace the planet, with Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Lionel Conacher and Donovan Bailey just a few Canadian legends in their respective sports.
However, here at Bodog, we’re all about the here and now. So, without further ado, let’s delve into the five current stars in Canadian Sport
Vladimir Guerrero Jr
There are numerous examples of greatness running in a family within sport, and the Guerrero family are no exception. Vladimir Guerrero Jr is the son of – you guessed it – Vladimir Guerrero Sr. The MLB Hall of Famer will no doubt be proud of the young career of his son, with the 23-year old excelling after four seasons in America’s franchise baseball league.
Born in Montreal, Guerrero Jr is the first baseman and designated hitter for the Toronto Blue Jays, and managed a career best 48 home runs in the 2021 season.
His form has continued into 2022, and he is set to come close to that tally this season as the Quebec star continues on his upward trajectory. Will he beat that tally? It’s going to be entertaining finding out.
Guerrero is currently priced at +3500 in Bodog’s American League MVP betting, with only six names ahead of him on the odds board.
If the Blue Jays are to have a successful season, they’ll need Guerrero at his best throughout the course of the season.
Toronto are currently third favourites at +600 in the American League betting behind Houston Astros and New York Yankees and can be backed at +1200 to win the 2022 MLB World Series.
After a stunning rise to the summit of baseball, Guerrero is the perfect place to start our list of Canada’s elite sport stars.
When it comes to Canadian soccer, names don’t come any bigger than Christine Sinclair. In fact, many would be forgiven for assuming that Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi or even a legend like Pele holds the record for the most international goals scored in the beautiful game.
They’d be wrong though. Canada’s very own Sinclair holds the record with 189 international strikes, some way clear of Ronaldo’s 117 for Portugal – the record holder in the men’s game.
Her next birthday will be her 40th, but the British Columbian star shows no signs of slowing down just yet, despite already achievening an Olympic gold and two bronze medals.
Sinclair is the second soccer player to score in five World Cups, in an international career that has spanned two decades.
At club level, she has lead the line for Portland Thorns in the NWSL since 2013, with the Oregon outfit managing two championships in that time.
Before then, Sinclair enjoyed successful spells at FC Gold Pride and Western New York Flash.
Will anybody replicate Sinclair’s achievements in the women’s game? It is difficult to make a case for that any time soon.
Keep on top of all Bodog’s soccer betting right here.
He may have some way to go before he can be talked about in the same breath as Steve Nash, but there is no denying that Andrew Wiggins is the best Canadian player currently plying his trade in the NBA.
Despite being a part of the league for eight seasons now, this last campaign just gone was something of a breakthrough for him – it was without doubt his most impressive to date.
Back in 2014, Wiggins was the number one draft pick, and was supposed to be the year that he announced himself in the big leagues. Instead, his time at the Cleveland Cavaliers was cut short and a move to Minnesota Timberwolves proved solid if not spectacular.
Instead, 2014 was the year of Nikola Jokic, who was drafted as the 41st overall pick and has since gone on to become the lowest ever pick to win the MVP.
A 2020 switch to the Golden State Warriors didn’t immediately pay dividends for Wiggins, with his new side finishing with the worst record in the league of 15-50.
Starting to wonder why Wiggins has been included in our top five Canadians? Stick with us, as his time with the Warriors quickly turned around for the better.
He managed a season high 40 points in a 116-103 win over the Memphis Grizzlies in March 2021, and was instrumental in helping Golden State qualify for the new play-in tournament.
In 2022, Wiggins was named as a starter for the Western Conference in the NBA All-Star Game, becoming the first number one overall draft pick in the modern era to make their All-Star debut in their eight campaign or later.
The season got better and better for the 27-year old, netting a playoff career high 27 points in game three as Golden State overcame the Dallas Mavericks on the way to the NBA Finals.
A game four double-double of 17 points and 16 rebounds was then better with a double-double of 26 points and 13 rebounds in game five as the Warriors beat the Boston Celtics in six games.
Can our man from Toronto inspire Golden State to consecutive NBA triumphs next season? Bodog’s NBA odds have them at +500 to win the championship again.
With Canada reaching their first FIFA World Cup in 36 years, we couldn’t compile our list without paying attention to one of their stars of the show, and Jonathan David is just that.
David was arguably Canada’s most influential player in qualifying for the tournament, leading the way with minutes played and appearing in all 14 matches.
Not only that, he bagged five goals and three assists, leading the way once again with goal contributions.
Alphonso Davies tends to grab the headlines when the national team are in town, but without David, qualification would have been an awful lot harder – particularly with the former’s injury woes.
The 22-year old was actually born in New York, but his family moved to Ottawa when he was just six. He enjoyed a remarkable youth career before being picked up by Belgian outfit Gent, where his goalscoring exploits across two impressive seasons earned him a €30m transfer to Lille – the most expensive soccer transfer involving a Canadian.
In May 2021, David scored as Lille beat Angers 2-1 to win the Ligue title for the first time in a decade.
Canada’s leading man is hot property in Europe, with soccer giants Bayern Munich and Chelsea reportedly vying for his signature.
Wherever he ends up, he’ll need to be bang on form if Canada are to stand any chance of making an impact in Qatar with John Herdman’s men a whopping +12500 in the World Cup betting.
Last but certainly not least on our list is Connor McDavid, who is playing the best hockey of his career right now.
Winner of the 2021 Hart Trophy, he was edged out this year by Auston Matthews, although there is a feeling that McDavid would have won this year had he not been crowned last season.
The 25-year old has improved year on year in the NHL, and has drawn comparisons to fellow greats such as Sidney Crosby and Wayne Gretzky.
23 points in 10 post-season games, 21 primary points, a record nine multi-point games – the Ontario skater is in a league of his own right now.
“It’s six games of absolutely other-level hockey,” claimed TSN Director of Scouting Craig Button after a 17-point haul in three games each against Los Angeles Kings and the Calgary Flames.
He is yet to win a Stanley Cup, although surely that is only a matter of time.
He did, however, score in a 2-0 victory over Finland to win the IIHF World Championship in 2016, and here’s to many more successful years for Team Canada under McDavid’s leadership.
Do you agree or disagree with our list of top five current Canadian stars? Get in touch with our Twitter team on @BodogCA and have your say.
From everyone at Bodog, happy Canada Day!