The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players

The Best NHL Players of All Time

101k votes 5k voters 86k views 366 items tags f p @

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!
List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 197 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2,065
    - 694


    Centerman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,787
    - 627

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Defenseman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,619
    - 460


    Centerman

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,344
    - 400


    Right wing

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,041
    - 388


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 922
    - 360

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 978
    - 447


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 771
    - 355


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 788
    - 306

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  10. 10
    + 771
    - 400

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  11. 11
    + 660
    - 319

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  12. 12
    + 887
    - 421


    Defenseman

    ;
  13. 13
    + 535
    - 243


    ;
  14. 14
    + 350
    - 140

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 549
    - 296


    Centerman

    ;
  16. 16
    + 477
    - 233


    Goaltender

    ;
  17. 17
    + 530
    - 298


    Centerman

    ;
  18. 18
    + 642
    - 330


    ;
  19. 19
    + 536
    - 258


    Centerman

    ;
  20. 20
    + 623
    - 364

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1,051
    - 653


    Right wing

    ;
  22. 22
    + 382
    - 204

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  23. 23
    + 369
    - 189


    Centerman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 632
    - 357


    Right wing

    ;
  25. 25
    + 288
    - 141

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  26. 26
    + 187
    - 38


    Goaltender

    ;
  27. 27
    + 290
    - 140

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  28. 28
    + 333
    - 166


    Defenseman

    ;
  29. 29
    + 328
    - 175

    added by gaug66

    ;
  30. 30
    + 699
    - 641

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  31. 31
    + 350
    - 190


    Centerman

    ;
  32. 32
    + 390
    - 174


    ;
  33. 33
    + 276
    - 121


    Defenseman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 283
    - 140

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  35. 35
    + 504
    - 309

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  36. 36
    + 313
    - 158


    Centerman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 303
    - 167


    Centerman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 191
    - 99

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  39. 39
    + 304
    - 198


    Centerman

    ;
  40. 40
    + 383
    - 266

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  41. 41
    + 287
    - 132

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 289
    - 131

    ranked low on reranks

    ;
  43. 43
    + 234
    - 143


    Centerman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 178
    - 80

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  45. 45
    + 354
    - 275

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  46. 46
    + 145
    - 47

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Goaltender

    ;
  47. 47
    + 205
    - 95


    Centerman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 350
    - 191

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ;
  49. 49
    + 327
    - 197


    Defenseman

    ;
  50. 50
    + 133
    - 40


    ;
367 +

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