The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players

The Best NHL Players of All Time

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94,137 votes 4,566 voters 79,629 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
  • 180 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1858
    - 645

    most listed
    Centerman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1462
    - 407


    Centerman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1654
    - 546

    the people's #1
    Defenseman

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1210
    - 357


    Right wing

    ;
  5. 5
    + 964
    - 345


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 859
    - 302

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 922
    - 408


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 710
    - 318


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 740
    - 280

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  10. 10
    + 828
    - 390


    Defenseman

    ;
  11. 11
    + 714
    - 374

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  12. 12
    + 619
    - 282

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  13. 13
    + 489
    - 209


    ;
  14. 14
    + 443
    - 198


    Goaltender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 311
    - 112

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  16. 16
    + 510
    - 268


    Centerman

    ;
  17. 17
    + 498
    - 270


    Centerman

    ;
  18. 18
    + 510
    - 235


    Centerman

    ;
  19. 19
    + 579
    - 332

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  20. 20
    + 586
    - 312


    ;
  21. 21
    + 961
    - 640


    Right wing

    ;
  22. 22
    + 588
    - 346


    Right wing

    ;
  23. 23
    + 343
    - 166


    Centerman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 373
    - 154


    ;
  25. 25
    + 310
    - 142


    Defenseman

    ;
  26. 26
    + 311
    - 148

    added by gaug66

    ;
  27. 27
    + 351
    - 186

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  28. 28
    + 269
    - 119

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  29. 29
    + 156
    - 23


    Goaltender

    ;
  30. 30
    + 637
    - 631

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  31. 31
    + 265
    - 118

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  32. 32
    + 246
    - 101


    Defenseman

    ;
  33. 33
    + 321
    - 172


    Centerman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 289
    - 138


    Centerman

    ;
  35. 35
    + 254
    - 115

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  36. 36
    + 164
    - 74

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 469
    - 297

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 277
    - 116


    ;
  39. 39
    + 283
    - 152


    Centerman

    ;
  40. 40
    + 281
    - 184


    Centerman

    ;
  41. 41
    + 354
    - 256

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 160
    - 54

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  43. 43
    + 323
    - 168

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 269
    - 119


    Centerman

    ;
  45. 45
    + 310
    - 185


    Defenseman

    ;
  46. 46
    + 327
    - 267

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 214
    - 132


    Centerman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 638
    - 543


    Goaltender

    ;
  49. 49
    + 237
    - 106

    ranked low on reranks
    Right wing

    ;
  50. 50
    + 231
    - 125


    Defenseman

    ;
367 +

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