The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
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The Best NHL Players of All Time

List Criteria: NHL players only.

The best NHL players of all time are undoubtably the most talented and most decorated hockey players ever to take the ice in the National Hockey League. These NHL greats hold countless spots in the NHL record books, a fan favorites and if they haven't already been inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, they surely will be when they are eligible. Plain and simple, these are hockey gods.

Easily earning the title as "The Great One," Wayne Gretzky is arguably among the very elite hockey players ever. Holding NHL records for everything from lifetime goals to the most goals in a season to the most career assists, points and even short-handed goals, there was little Gretzky didn't dominate during his 20 seasons in the National Hockey League.

While Gretzky is "The Great One," he's far from the only great one. Mr. Hockey himself, Gordie Howe, is right up there with Gretzky with an impressive hockey career that lasted until he was 52 years of age. Along with other NHL legends like Mario Lemieux, Bobby Orr, Mark Messier and Maurice Richard, these hockey greats dominated the league during their time.

Many will follow in the footsteps, or skate strides, of these all-time best NHL players but few will ever reach the level of greatness that these talented men have. Who is your all-time favorite NHL star? How would you rank these top NHL players of all time? Tell us by voting for your favorites below, adding any that are missed or even re-ranking this list of the best NHL players of all time below. Looking for more detailed rankings by position? Check out the best NHL defensemen of all time and the best hockey goaltenders of all time rankings too!

  • 55 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 915
    - 342

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 920
    - 264

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 596
    - 194

    Right wing

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 726
    - 196

    Centerman

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 527
    - 165

    Right wing

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 322
    - 334

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 428
    - 405

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Right wing

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 541
    - 221

    ranked low on reranks Left Wing

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 337
    - 297

    often listed & added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 365
    - 130

    Defenseman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 421
    - 137

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 332
    - 363

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 424
    - 380

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 399
    - 130

    added by klubibar Goaltender

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 437
    - 149

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 161
    - 313

    often listed & added by Scott H Left Wing

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 353
    - 132

    added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 395
    - 283

    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 285
    - 212
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 261
    - 185

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 261
    - 125

    Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 287
    - 279

    Right wing

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 224
    - 204

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 299
    - 367

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 313
    - 136

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 313
    - 125

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 162
    - 181

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 259
    - 71

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 261
    - 354
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 212
    - 325

    Defenseman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 233
    - 73

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 189
    - 274

    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 138
    - 98

    Centerman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 152
    - 104

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 80
    - 139

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 155
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 90
    - 98

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 119
    - 206

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 177
    - 67

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 150
    - 135

    Left Wing

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 149
    - 64

    Centerman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 136
    - 170

    Goaltender

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 154
    - 179

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 156
    - 243

    Defenseman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 136
    - 99

    Defenseman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 132
    - 53

    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 212
    - 251

    added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 115
    - 30

    added by gaug66 Goaltender

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 217
    - 60

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 176
    - 322

    Defenseman

    ) open
201 +

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