The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
Ultimate List
38,130 votes 39,453 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!
  • 32 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • See list ranked by
The List
Comment
Embed
Options
rerank list
  1. 1
    Up 737
    Down 242

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    open
  2. 2
    Up 730
    Down 220

    Defenseman

    open
  3. 3
    Up 496
    Down 143

    Right wing

    open
  4. 4
    Up 581
    Down 164

    Centerman

    open
  5. 5
    Up 432
    Down 123

    Right wing

    open
  6. 6
    Up 449
    Down 156

    Left Wing

    open
  7. 7
    Up 268
    Down 72

    Defenseman

    open
  8. 8
    Up 318
    Down 308

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Right wing

    open
  9. 9
    Up 342
    Down 312

    Centerman

    open
  10. 10
    Up 329
    Down 106

    added by klubibar Centerman

    open
  11. 11
    Up 353
    Down 104

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Right wing

    open
  12. 12
    Up 249
    Down 290

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    open
  13. 13
    Up 255
    Down 157

    added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    open
  14. 14
    Up 288
    Down 100

    added by klubibar Goaltender

    open
  15. 15
    Up 245
    Down 244

    Goaltender

    open
  16. 16
    Up 284
    Down 89

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    open
  17. 17
    Up 326
    Down 252

    Defenseman

    open
  18. 18
    Up 231
    Down 182

    open
  19. 19
    Up 236
    Down 250

    Right wing

    open
  20. 20
    Up 238
    Down 299

    Centerman

    open
  21. 21
    Up 184
    Down 182

    added by klubibar Centerman

    open
  22. 22
    Up 202
    Down 92

    Centerman

    open
  23. 23
    Up 149
    Down 141

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    open
  24. 24
    Up 187
    Down 156

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    open
  25. 25
    Up 257
    Down 101

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    open
  26. 26
    Up 253
    Down 96

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    open
  27. 27
    Up 176
    Down 272

    Defenseman

    open
  28. 28
    Up 221
    Down 293

    open
  29. 29
    Up 153
    Down 223

    Goaltender

    open
  30. 30
    Up 85
    Down 215

    added by Scott H Left Wing

    open
  31. 31
    Up 101
    Down 168

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    open
  32. 32
    Up 119
    Down 139

    Goaltender

    open
  33. 33
    Up 131
    Down 88

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Defenseman

    open
  34. 34
    Up 150
    Down 276

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    open
  35. 35
    Up 204
    Down 47

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    open
  36. 36
    Up 173
    Down 52

    open
  37. 37
    Up 126
    Down 75

    Centerman

    open
  38. 38
    Up 133
    Down 224

    Defenseman

    open
  39. 39
    Up 147
    Down 50

    Centerman

    open
  40. 40
    Up 113
    Down 81

    Defenseman

    open
  41. 41
    Up 118
    Down 158

    added by klubibar Centerman

    open
  42. 42
    Up 91
    Down 158

    added by klubibar Centerman

    open
  43. 43
    Up 73
    Down 55

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    open
  44. 44
    Up 108
    Down 37

    Defenseman

    open
  45. 45
    Up 128
    Down 115

    Left Wing

    open
  46. 46
    Up 124
    Down 48

    Centerman

    open
  47. 47
    Up 163
    Down 207

    added by klubibar Right wing

    open
  48. 48
    Up 158
    Down 259

    Right wing

    open
  49. 49
    Up 122
    Down 45

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    open
  50. 50
    Up 113
    Down 206

    added by klubibar Right wing, Centerman

    open
175 +

Something missing? Add it!

think you can do better?

Rerank This List

got a blog or website?

embed this list

viewers of this list also saw...

more popular lists