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!
  • 44 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 804
    - 299

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 816
    - 238

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 533
    - 163

    Right wing

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 482
    - 137

    Right wing

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  5. 5
    + 635
    - 183

    Centerman

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 500
    - 183

    Left Wing

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 356
    - 372

    Right wing

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  8. 8
    + 318
    - 104

    Defenseman

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 277
    - 296

    Goaltender

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 284
    - 231

    added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 372
    - 360

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 279
    - 343

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 381
    - 122

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 402
    - 127

    added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 352
    - 115

    added by klubibar Goaltender

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 330
    - 113

    added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 351
    - 275

    Defenseman

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  18. 18
    + 238
    - 108

    Centerman

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  19. 19
    + 247
    - 204
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 253
    - 268

    Right wing

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 197
    - 194

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 261
    - 353

    Centerman

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 299
    - 123

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 110
    - 273

    often listed & added by Scott H Left Wing

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 217
    - 170

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 297
    - 115

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 153
    - 169

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 247
    - 61

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 239
    - 340
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 192
    - 315

    Defenseman

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  31. 31
    + 170
    - 264

    Goaltender

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  32. 32
    + 133
    - 88

    Centerman

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  33. 33
    + 210
    - 66

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 113
    - 198

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 140
    - 97

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 141
    - 127

    Left Wing

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 141
    - 60

    Centerman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 145
    - 57

    Centerman

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  39. 39
    + 169
    - 60

    Centerman

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  40. 40
    + 128
    - 165

    Goaltender

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  41. 41
    + 83
    - 77

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 143
    - 237

    Defenseman

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 140
    - 171

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 120
    - 95

    Defenseman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 160
    - 315

    often listed Defenseman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 119
    - 50

    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 182
    - 245

    added by klubibar Right wing

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  48. 48
    + 97
    - 185

    often listed & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 102
    - 24

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66 Goaltender

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 202
    - 54

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
180 +

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