Canada is one of the top breeding grounds for NHL talent. The country has a rich history of producing amazing hockey players, including the greatest of all time, Wayne Gretzky.
In 2023, over a third of all the players in the NHL are either Canadian or have strong links to Canada and Canadian franchises.
In this guide, we’re exploring some of the top players who are currently playing in the NHL who are from Canada. Whether you’re looking to bet on the next winner of the Hart Trophy at one of the best sportsbooks, or you just want to celebrate Canadians in hockey, we’ve got the top names below.
Arguably the top player in the entire NHL the past decade is Sidney Crosby. The center is the captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins and has been nicknamed “Sid the Kid” as well as being called “The Next One” after Wayne Gretzky’s nickname “The Great One”.
Crosby has won plenty of awards, including Stanley Cups and a load of individual accolades such as the Hart Trophy for being the league’s MVP. He was voted the best all-around player in the league in 2022-23.
It is fair to say that Crosby is the poster boy of the NHL. He has been with the Penguins since 2005 after he was drafted following a short stint with the minor league team Rimouski Océanic.
Crosby can’t have too many years left at the top, but his legacy will always be remembered. He’s one of the best athletes to ever play the game.
Another huge name in the world of hockey is Connor McDavid. Before being drafted first by the Edmonton Oilers in 2015, he played in Ontario in the OHL and Canadian Hockey League where he won lots of awards, such as the Red Tilson Trophy, Wayne Gretzky 99 Award and CHL Player of the Year awards.
McDavid has had some high praise from other professionals in the league and greats like Gretzky. He is also regularly compared to Sidney Crosby as one of the top players in the league. McDavid is still relatively young, so he could still hit the heights of the all-time greats.
Another player who has a big reputation in the NHL is Nathan Mackinnon. He is the alternate captain for the Colorado Avalanche and is another hockey player who has been talked about for a long time. He’s regarded as a top player and was selected first overall in the 2013 draft. He’s been with the Colorado Avalanche ever since, establishing himself as one of the best players in the world.
He played a crucial part in the team winning the Stanley Cup in 2022.
There are many players who just missed out on our list, and we know that Canadians love playing ice hockey, so there are a great number of players who come from the country, but these three stand out as incredible current talents.