The 10 Most Popular Canadian Sports Stars

Updated: 1038 Other

The 10 Most Popular Canadian Sports Stars
Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

When it comes to the act of slam dunks or slamming the puck into the opposition’s net, such actions are going to be brought into greater scrutiny in the media. While with the media going digital, it allows a far greater spotlight to shine on Canada’s sporting stars.

Whether the news be good or bad, staying in the limelight is sometimes just as important as staying out of it, and with popularity being a rather universal measure in all walks of life, we are now going to highlight which names generate the most attention online. 

After taking a sample of 70 sporting stars both past and present, here is the 10 that find themselves at the top of the table.

Ratings out of 10

Name Sport Value Born
Andrew Wiggins NBA 6.4 Toronto, Ontario
Steve Nash NBA 4.9 Johannesburg, South Africa
Wayne Gretzky NHL 4.5 Brantford, Ontario, Canada
Alphonso Davies Soccer 4.4 Buduburam, Ghana
Jonathan David Soccer 4.3 Brooklyn, New York, United States
Connor McDavid NHL 3.8 Richmond Hill, Ontario
Jamal Murray NBA 3.7 Kitchener, Ontario
Carey Price NHL 3.7 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Jacques Villeneuve F1 3.4 Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Canada
Joey Votto  MLB 3.1 Toronto, Ontario, Canada

#1 Andrew Wiggins 6.4

At the top of the list when it comes to popularity is none other than Andrew Wiggins. The former Minnesota Timberwolves star made a 2020 switch to the Golden State Warriors, and it is fair to say he has not looked back since.

With a 2022 NBA Championship in his possession, the Toronto-born athlete is flying the flag for basketball in Canada and also flying the flag when it comes to overall sporting popularity. 

#2 Steve Nash 4.9

Next on the list is Steve Nash and considering he has not played in the NBA since 2015, his popularity is rather impressive. Then again, we should not forget his stint as the Brooklyn Nets coach between 2020 and 2022.

With a number of projects away from basketball, Nash is never far away from the headlines. Whether it be his charity, endorsements or even love for soccer, column inches are always being generated by the 48-year-old.

#3 Wayne Gretzky 4.5

From one retired Canadian great to another and next up we go to the icon of ice hockey in Canada. This means it can only be Wayne Gretzky who is third on the list. He may not have hit the ice in nearly 25 years, but his popularity is still as high as ever. 

The former Edmonton Oilers star now lends his voice to Turner Sports’ NHL coverage and with him never being short of an opinion, he is never far away from an internet search either. 

#4 Alphonso Davies 4.4

The first of two soccer internationals is next and with the 2022 World Cup just a number of weeks away, Alphonso Davies will hope his popularity soars in due course. Something that could happen if the nation gets a dose of tournament fever.

Canada are certainly going into the competition as one of the outsiders. However, this unknown quantity will have nothing to fear and will certainly relish the opportunity to go up against the world’s best. 

#5 Jonathan David 4.3

Joining Davies at the World Cup will be teammate Jonathan David and if the former provides an incredible amount of pace out wide, the latter will be tasked with scoring goals for the men’s national team. 

If the Lille forward can breach the opposition defence, expect his popularity to skyrocket. He may be fifth on the list at the moment, but that could change quite quickly. 

#6 Connor McDavid 3.8

Next up is our first current NHL Star and it comes in the shape of Connor McDavid. After becoming the first pick in the 2015 Draft, he and the Edmonton Oilers have been intertwined in the past seven years.

Considered as one of the best players in the league, comparisons have been made against the likes of Wayne Gretzky and Sidney Crosby. When you are compared with those names, you are certainly going to be in the limelight. 

#7 Jamal Murray 3.7

A tie for seventh has unfolded and Jamal Murray has found himself neatly placed in the top 10. Although he suffered a season-ending injury during the 2020/21 NBA campaign and was also absent for the whole of 2021/22, he is managed to stay in the spotlight.

Especially as news regarding his fitness has been of continued interest to those within NBA circles and more so, for those who follow the Denver Nuggets. 

#8 Carey Price 3.7

Another NHL star makes the top 10 and it is another player who is a one-franchise man. The franchise is the Montreal Canadiens, the man is none other than goaltender Carey Price. After making his debut in 2007, he has struck fear in opposition players since.

Since his debut was made 15 years ago, Price quickly become one of the best goaltenders in the world of hockey and with his antics always generating plenty of headlines, he is one of the most talked about players in the game today. 

#9 Jacques Villeneuve 3.4

Finding himself ninth on the list is none other than Jacques Villenueve. The former F1 star may have won the World Championship 25 years ago, but the son of Gilles still has a habit of placing himself in the limelight. 

Especially as the 51-year-old has not hung up his racing gloves just yet. The calibre of competition may have decreased in recent years, but Villlenueve loves nothing more than trying to earn the chequered flag 

#10 Joey Votto 3.1

Rounding out our popularity top 10 is none other than Joey Votto and he also has the distinction of being a one-franchise guy. His discipline is baseball, and he has called the Cincinatti Reds his team since 2007. 

In that time, Votto has become a 6x All-Star and also managed to earn the moniker of National League MVP in 2010. Not to forget, the 39-year-old has also hit over 300 home runs in Major League Baseball, and he shows no signs of slowing down either. 

Articles Analysed

Name Sport Born Article Analyzed
Andrew Wiggins NBA Toronto, Ontario 4,904
Jonathan David Soccer Brooklyn, New York, United States 3,437
Steve Nash NBA Johannesburg, South Africa 2,722
Connor McDavid NHL Richmond Hill, Ontario 2,106
Sidney Crosby NHL Halifax, Nova Scotia 2,020

When carrying out our analysis, we also looked at the number of articles that have involved these sporting stars. Top of the list was Andrew Wiggins, with just under 5.000 and the 2022 NBA Champion pushed Jonathan David and Steve Nash into second and third respectively.

Total Engagement

Name Sport Born Total Engagement
Andrew Wiggins NBA Toronto, Ontario 1,659,697
Alphonso Davies Soccer Buduburam, Ghana 547,589
Carey Price NHL Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 399,980
Jonathan David Soccer Brooklyn, New York, United States 357,262
Sidney Crosby NHL Halifax, Nova Scotia 355,225

While in terms of engagement it was Wiggins who was top of the table once again. However, the margin of victory was far greater this time. With over 1.6m engagement, this was a million more than soccer’s Alphonso Davies and the NHL’s Carey Price.

The Kardashian Factor

After reading this list you may feel that there is one glaring omission. One that comes in the form of Tristan Thompson and the reason for his absence from the list, is that Khloe Kardashian skewed all the data.

Erik Drost, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

If Thompson was a part of the data sample, he would have recorded 7.3 on its own, while also pushing Andrew Wiggins down to a paltry 3.9 by comparison. Although Tristan had over 11,000 articles analysed and double the top level of engagement, these were likely steeped in celebrity.

This means we made an executive decision to remove from our sample. However, we still wanted to highlight his own popularity at present. 


We used Buzzsumo to discover the most articles written, the most engagement, and the highest average engagement for each sports star.

We used Google search volume to find out the sports stars with the most searches over the last year. 

We then created a normalized score out of 10 for each category, before taking an average of those scores to get our popularity score. 

Data is accurate from October 2022 and shows figures from the last 12 months. 

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