As 2023 approaches, a look back at some of the success stories in Canadian sport warrants recognition for the exciting new stars of the future.
The Canadian Press dives into Canada’s breakout stars of 2022 to keep an eye on for years to come.
Summer McIntosh, swimming
The Toronto native wasn’t an unknown entering 2022, but McIntosh brightened her star on just about every stage she could. After an Olympic display that saw her finish fourth in two events last year, the 16-year-old claimed four medals (two gold, one silver, one bronze) in her first World Championships.
A couple of weeks later, McIntosh added another six medals at the Commonwealth Games (two gold, three silver, one bronze). With another world championship in July, McIntosh could be in line for a few more medals as the Paris Olympics await her in 2024.
SEE | McIntosh wins butterfly gold at worlds:
Connor Bedard, hockey
The 17-year-old, who is expected to be the top pick in the 2023 NHL draft, burst onto the scene in the 2021-22 season playing for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League. After opening the 2021 portion of the season with 24 points in 24 games, Bedard had an impressive 76 points in 38 games to finish the season with 51 goals and 49 assists. He also helped Canada win gold at the 2022 World Junior Championships, contributing eight points (four goals, four assists) in seven games.
Bedard has only raised his level of play since, with 27 goals and 64 points in 28 WHL games this season. He will help Canada try to retain the world junior title in 2023.
SEE | Bedard pots pair in pre-tournament win over Finland:
Bennedict Mathurin, basketball
The Montreal native enjoyed a quantum leap in the college ranks after a solid 2020-21 freshman season at the University of Arizona, where he was named to the Pac-12 all-Freshman team. In 2021-22, Mathurin increased his scoring average from 10.8 to 17.7 en route to being named the Pac-12 Player of the Year, a second-team all-American and a finalist for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the most outstanding college – the basketball. player.
Drafted sixth overall by the Indiana Pacers in last summer’s NBA draft, Mathurin has been among the top rookies in the league averaging 17.2 points per game.
Bennedict Mathurin played tonight against the Warriors.👏
3 AST pic.twitter .com/jfvTjoysHQ
Camryn Rogers, hammer throw
After a fifth-place finish at the Tokyo Games and a third consecutive NCAA title, Rogers further etched his name into the history books in 2022. The native of Richmond, BC emerged to win Canada’s first medal at the track and field worlds while becoming the first-ever Canadian woman to win a world championship medal in field events, earning silver in July. Shortly after, she added a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
With the Canadian and NCAA records in hand, Rogers is competing in his senior year at the University of California, Berkeley. And with another World Cup looming next summer, she may need room at home for more hardware.
SEE | Rogers takes silver medal at worldwide:
Mia Vallée, diving
With Diving Canada expecting to go through a transition period after some retirements, Vallée came through as the next potential star. The University of Miami star struck in 2022, winning two Grand Prix medals before taking home two more (one silver, one bronze) at her first World Championships.
Vallée, of Beaconsfield, Que., followed that up with three medals at the Commonwealth Games, highlighted by a gold in the one-meter springboard. She will try to strengthen her position among the world’s best at the 2023 World Aquatics Championships in July leading up to Paris 2024.
SEE | Vallée takes silver at the Commonwealth Games: