The 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs begin this week, and all eyes will be on the Canadian hockey stars. Patrice Bergeron, who has a stellar record of accomplishments in his career, led the Boston Bruins into the top spot after a season that was nothing short of spectacular. Betway’s NHL playoff odds currently have Boston Bruins as the favorites. Nathan MacKinnon has also been crucial in the success of the championship-defending Colorado Avalanche as they head the Central Division again this year. The Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers have already secured their playoff positions, but key Canadian players are expected to make a move in the entire bracket during this week. According to Betway, the following are the most popular Canadian athletes that fans bet on during the first week of the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
1) Connor McDavid – Edmonton Oilers
Connor McDavid, who finished the regular season with an incredible 153 points with a 16-game streak of impressive point totals, has earned the title as the Canadian athlete most bet on. McDavid, who averaged 1.87 points in each game of the Edmonton Oilers this season was the engine behind their potent offensive all season.
McDavid was not able to score in Game 1 of their series with the LA Kings. However, his vision and speed were a constant force on the offensive throughout the game. McDavid will continue to be a driving force for the offense with his speed and vision throughout this series.
2) Nathan MacKinnon – Colorado Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon, the reigning Stanley Cup champion and a constant force in the Avalanche offense throughout the regular season is the top Canadian choice. MacKinnon dominated the NHL this year by ranking third for points per game Wunderdog NHL consensus.
MacKinnon played well despite a loss to the Seattle Kraken during Game 1 of playoffs. He had seven shots at goal and also logged one assist.
3) William Nylander – Toronto Maple Leafs
Nylander, whose career-high season is now in the playoffs, has earned the nickname Willy Styles. Fans are praising Nylander for his goal in Game 1 against the Tampa Bay Lightning, which has him in third place. It remains to be seen if his team will maintain their composure following a loss at home.
4) Mitch Marner – Toronto Maple Leafs
Fans flocked toward Mitch Marner in the playoffs after he was only two goals back of Nylander during the regular season. Marner managed to get a +2 rating and three assists despite losing the game 7-3.
Marner will be expected to have a major role in helping the Leafs win the playoffs. He’ll play on both ends of the ice including the powerplay, the penalty kill, and the strength. Marner will probably average between 22-24 minutes of play per game. This is a huge upside. Toronto fans have a new hope in him, as he leads his team in points and assists during the regular season.
5) Ryan Nugent-Hopkins – Edmonton Oilers
Nugent-Hopkins, who ranked eighth in the NHL this year, continues to have a strong offensive impact in the early stages of the postseason, surpassing 100 points for the first time. Nugent-Hopkins is a popular playmaker and many are betting on his skills this year. He showed in Monday’s Game 1 when he scored a goal for Bouchard.
6) Ryan O’Reilly – Toronto Maple Leafs
Ryan O’Reilly, who was traded in by Tampa Bay on Tuesday evening after their loss, gave Toronto fans some hope when he scored a goal into the Tampa Bay net. O’Reilly, who has won the Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe trophies, was acquired by the Toronto team.
He returned to the ice just in time for playoffs after a four-week absence due to a finger injury. In six games, O’Reilly scored two goals, four assists, and four points on the power play. O’Reilly will be the Leafs’ leader and experience to help them make it to the second playoff round.
7) Brad Marchand – Boston Bruins
Brad Marchand, a Stanley Cup Champion himself, knows how to succeed in the post-season. In Monday’s 2-0 win over the Florida Panthers, he scored his 50th playoff goal.
The fans are betting on the point-driven performance of his playoff performance since he ended the regular season in 73 matches with 21 goals.
8) Cale Makar – Colorado Avalanche
Cale Makar, the Norris and Conn-Smythe Trophy winner for this year has had another remarkable season. Cale Makar is dangerous every time he takes to the ice. This is often as he was the leader in the league for time spent on the ice.
The fans are anxious to see how he performs in the post-season after a young star returns from two different injuries. The Avalanche lost Game 1 but will rely on Makar to control play at the back end.
9) Mark Scheifele – Winnipeg Jets
Mark Scheifele made a modest comeback to the ice for Game 1, after missing the last weeks of the regular season due to an injury in the upper body. The Jets won their game against the Vegas Golden Knights thanks to four goals from the centre.
Scheifele averages 20:28 minutes of ice time per game. However, with the Jets as underdogs against Vegas, expect him to be on the ice more in this series.
10) Brayden Point – Tampa Bay Lightning
Brayden Point is making a name for himself with the fans. He made headlines last week by scoring two goals in the first game against the Maple Leafs. The series will continue this week to determine if fans keep their faith. Point, who is coming off a 50-goal year and led the team during the regular season in this stat, has been recognized as Tampa’s reliable goal scorer.
There is no question that Canadians will make their mark in the playoffs, whether you root for the Bruins to fall or bet on the Oilers’ comeback. Cale Makar will he and Nathan MacKinnon back-to-back? Is this year the one when Connor McDavid wins his Stanley Cup for Edmonton?