The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
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22  reranks 16,262 votes 986 voters 26,193 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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Score
  1. 1
    Up 441
    Down 135

    the people's #1
    Wayne Gretzky

    1961 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 363
    Down 107
    1965 More
    99
  3. 3
    Up 380
    Down 101
    1948 More
    99
  4. 4
    Up 325
    Down 92

    most listed
    Gordie Howe

    1928 More
    99
  5. 5
    Up 221
    Down 77
    1921 More
    94
  6. 6
    Up 193
    Down 91
    1939 More
    88
  7. 7
    Up 232
    Down 96
    1965 More
    86
  8. 8
    Up 173
    Down 78
    1951 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 216
    Down 94
    1970 More
    81
  10. 10
    Up 165
    Down 89
    1961 More
    81
  11. 11
    Up 206
    Down 110
    1972 More
    80
  12. 12
    Up 168
    Down 86
    1965 More
    79
  13. 13
    Up 121
    Down 57
    1942 More
    79
    added by: klubibar
  14. 14
    Up 160
    Down 91
    1969 More
    76
  15. 15
    Up 150
    Down 60
    1972 More
    74
  16. 16
    Up 108
    Down 46
    1931 More
    74
    added by: klubibar
  17. 17
    Up 26
    Down 10

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ray Bourque

    1960 More
    74
  18. 18
    Up 120
    Down 49
    1957 More
    73
    added by: klubibar
  19. 19
    Up 124
    Down 78
    1961 More
    71
  20. 20
    Up 92
    Down 44
    1929 More
    70
  21. 21
    Up 128
    Down 45

    ranked low on reranks
    Dominik Hašek

    1965 More
    69
    added by: klubibar
  22. 22
    Up 140
    Down 95
    1973 More
    68
  23. 23
    Up 88
    Down 51
    1951 More
    67
  24. 24
    Up 117
    Down 76
    1962 More
    67
  25. 25
    Up 91
    Down 42
    1940 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  26. 26
    Up 82
    Down 61

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddie Shore

    1902 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  27. 27
    Up 63
    Down 50

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Doug Harvey

    1924 More
    65
    added by: klubibar
  28. 28
    Up 90
    Down 44
    1951 More
    64
  29. 29
    Up 120
    Down 66
    1964 More
    64
  30. 30
    Up 125
    Down 62
    1978 More
    64
    added by: Harrison1
  31. 31
    Up 75
    Down 38
    1936 More
    62
  32. 32
    Up 101
    Down 40
    1970 More
    62
    added by: klubibar
  33. 33
    Up 71
    Down 42
    1956 More
    60
    added by: klubibar
  34. 34
    Up 65
    Down 54

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Howie Morenz

    1902 More
    60
    added by: klubibar
  35. 35
    Up 74
    Down 44
    1929 More
    59
  36. 36
    Up 73
    Down 54
    1949 More
    59
    added by: klubibar
  37. 37
    Up 86
    Down 44
    1925 More
    58
  38. 38
    Up 65
    Down 36
    1969 More
    55
  39. 39
    Up 81
    Down 56
    1960 More
    55
    added by: klubibar
  40. 40
    Up 66
    Down 47
    1950 More
    54
  41. 41
    Up 98
    Down 88
    1987 More
    54
    added by: BlakeMangone
  42. 42
    Up 80
    Down 51
    1969 More
    54
  43. 43
    Up 68
    Down 44
    1935 More
    53
  44. 44
    Up 65
    Down 47
    1953 More
    53
    added by: klubibar
  45. 45
    Up 45
    Down 50

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alexander Ovechkin

    1985 More
    52
    added by: Scott H
  46. 46
    Up 53
    Down 35
    1963 More
    51
  47. 47
    Up 47
    Down 29
    1963 More
    51
  48. 48
    Up 56
    Down 40
    1970 More
    51
  49. 49
    Up 57
    Down 54
    1931 More
    51
  50. 50
    Up 48
    Down 35
    1965 More
    50
  51. 200 +

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