The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
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22  reranks 16,096 votes 970 voters 25,844 views more info

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!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 22 ReRanks
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    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 433
    Down 132

    the people's #1
    Wayne Gretzky

    1961 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 376
    Down 98
    1948 More
    99
  3. 3
    Up 356
    Down 104
    1965 More
    99
  4. 4
    Up 322
    Down 89

    most listed
    Gordie Howe

    1928 More
    99
  5. 5
    Up 219
    Down 73
    1921 More
    94
  6. 6
    Up 189
    Down 90
    1939 More
    88
  7. 7
    Up 228
    Down 93
    1965 More
    86
  8. 8
    Up 171
    Down 74
    1951 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 189
    Down 87
    1960 More
    82
  10. 10
    Up 212
    Down 90
    1970 More
    82
  11. 11
    Up 163
    Down 86
    1961 More
    81
  12. 12
    Up 200
    Down 108
    1972 More
    80
  13. 13
    Up 164
    Down 85
    1965 More
    78
  14. 14
    Up 117
    Down 56
    1942 More
    78
    added by: klubibar
  15. 15
    Up 156
    Down 89
    1969 More
    76
  16. 16
    Up 146
    Down 58
    1972 More
    74
  17. 17
    Up 105
    Down 44
    1931 More
    74
    added by: klubibar
  18. 18
    Up 118
    Down 46
    1957 More
    73
    added by: klubibar
  19. 19
    Up 121
    Down 75
    1961 More
    71
  20. 20
    Up 91
    Down 40
    1929 More
    70
  21. 21
    Up 124
    Down 43

    ranked low on reranks
    Dominik Hašek

    1965 More
    69
    added by: klubibar
  22. 22
    Up 87
    Down 48
    1951 More
    68
  23. 23
    Up 116
    Down 73
    1962 More
    68
  24. 24
    Up 136
    Down 93
    1973 More
    68
  25. 25
    Up 81
    Down 58

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddie Shore

    1902 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  26. 26
    Up 89
    Down 41
    1940 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  27. 27
    Up 63
    Down 47

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Doug Harvey

    1924 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  28. 28
    Up 89
    Down 42
    1951 More
    65
  29. 29
    Up 117
    Down 63
    1964 More
    64
  30. 30
    Up 123
    Down 59
    1978 More
    64
    added by: Harrison1
  31. 31
    Up 73
    Down 36
    1936 More
    63
  32. 32
    Up 98
    Down 38
    1970 More
    62
    added by: klubibar
  33. 33
    Up 71
    Down 38
    1956 More
    61
    added by: klubibar
  34. 34
    Up 65
    Down 50

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Howie Morenz

    1902 More
    60
    added by: klubibar
  35. 35
    Up 73
    Down 41
    1929 More
    60
  36. 36
    Up 73
    Down 50
    1949 More
    59
    added by: klubibar
  37. 37
    Up 85
    Down 41
    1925 More
    59
  38. 38
    Up 64
    Down 33
    1969 More
    56
  39. 39
    Up 79
    Down 53
    1960 More
    55
    added by: klubibar
  40. 40
    Up 65
    Down 44
    1950 More
    54
  41. 41
    Up 96
    Down 85
    1987 More
    54
    added by: BlakeMangone
  42. 42
    Up 79
    Down 49
    1969 More
    54
  43. 43
    Up 64
    Down 45
    1953 More
    53
    added by: klubibar
  44. 44
    Up 66
    Down 42
    1935 More
    53
  45. 45
    Up 43
    Down 46

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alexander Ovechkin

    1985 More
    52
    added by: Scott H
  46. 46
    Up 47
    Down 26
    1963 More
    52
  47. 47
    Up 52
    Down 33
    1963 More
    52
  48. 48
    Up 55
    Down 37
    1970 More
    51
  49. 49
    Up 56
    Down 52
    1931 More
    51
  50. 50
    Up 37
    Down 24
    1966 More
    50
  51. 203 +

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