sports The Best NHL Players of All Time

122k votes 6.3k voters 77k views 392 items Embed

List Rules 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!

1
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Wayne Gretzky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Wayne Gretzky Centerman

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2
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Gordie Howe is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Gordie Howe Right wing

3
+ - 2,208 828
Bobby Orr is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Bobby Orr Defenseman

4
+ - 2,062 636
Mario Lemieux is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Mario Lemieux Centerman

5
+ - 1,245 514
Maurice Richard is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Maurice Richard Right wing

6
+ - 1,166 562
Bobby Hull is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Bobby Hull Left Wing

7
+ - 1,144 520
Dominik Hašek is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Dominik Hašek Goaltender

8
+ - 951 490
Ray Bourque is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Ray Bourque Defenseman

9
+ - 957 510
Mike Bossy is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Mike Bossy Right wing

10
+ - 1,134 529
Nicklas Lidström is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Nicklas Lidström Defenseman

11
+ - 927 395
Jean Béliveau is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Jean Béliveau Centerman

12
+ - 780 431
Stan Mikita is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Stan Mikita Centerman, Forward

13
+ - 673 389
Pavel Bure is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

14
+ - 458 238
Glenn Hall is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Glenn Hall Goaltender

15
+ - 673 364
Phil Esposito is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Phil Esposito Centerman

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16
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Joe Sakic is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

17
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Gilbert Perreault is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Gilbert Perreault Centerman

18
+ - 651 419
Peter Šťastný is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Peter Šťastný Centerman

19
+ - 1,396 692
Jaromír Jágr is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Jaromír Jágr Right wing

20
+ - 565 344
Bernie Parent is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Bernie Parent Goaltender

21
+ - 502 280
Denis Potvin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Denis Potvin Defenseman

22
+ - 659 322
Marcel Dionne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Marcel Dionne Centerman

23
+ - 302 123
Vladislav Tretiak is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Vladislav Tretiak Goaltender

24
+ - 893 690
Martin Brodeur is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Martin Brodeur Goaltender

25
+ - 772 388
Guy Lafleur is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Guy Lafleur Right wing

26
+ - 420 243
Guy Lapointe is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Guy Lapointe Defenseman

27
+ - 387 236
Börje Salming is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Börje Salming Defenseman

28
+ - 440 278
Darryl Sittler is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Darryl Sittler Centerman

29
+ - 364 207
Viacheslav Fetisov is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Viacheslav Fetisov Defenseman

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30
+ - 457 255
Valeri Kharlamov is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

31
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Paul Coffey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Paul Coffey Defenseman

32
+ - 426 285
Adam Oates is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Adam Oates Centerman

33
+ - 750 437
Pavel Datsyuk is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Pavel Datsyuk Centerman

34
+ - 381 268
Alexander Yakushev is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

35
+ - 339 234
Frank Brimsek is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Frank Brimsek Goaltender

36
+ - 366 266
Syl Apps is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Syl Apps Centerman

37
+ - 440 330
Eddie Shore is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Eddie Shore Defenseman

38
+ - 361 240
Andy Bathgate is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Andy Bathgate Centerman

39
+ - 364 243
Bernie Federko is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Bernie Federko Centerman

40
+ - 543 369
Terry Sawchuk is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Terry Sawchuk Goaltender

41
+ - 442 335
Bryan Trottier is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Bryan Trottier Right wing, Centerman

42
+ - 295 205
Joe Malone is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Joe Malone Centerman

43
+ - 344 192
Ted Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Ted Kennedy Centerman

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44
+ - 353 237
Pat LaFontaine is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Pat LaFontaine Centerman

45
+ - 786 504
Mark Messier is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Mark Messier Centerman

46
+ - 283 212
Erik Karlsson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Erik Karlsson Defenseman

47
+ - 360 280
Patrice Bergeron is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Patrice Bergeron Centerman, Forward

48
+ - 851 591
Patrick Roy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Patrick Roy Goaltender

49
+ - 995 543
Steve Yzerman is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Steve Yzerman Centerman

50
+ - 300 181
Dale Hawerchuk is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time
Dale Hawerchuk Centerman