The Best NHL Players of All Time

107k votes 5.2k voters 89k 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!
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 213 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,699
    - 497


    Centerman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,859
    - 670

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Defenseman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,443
    - 430


    Right wing

    ;
  4. 4
    + 2,178
    - 718


    Centerman

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,091
    - 408


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 972
    - 393

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,015
    - 475


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 810
    - 383


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 819
    - 420

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  10. 10
    + 818
    - 324

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  11. 11
    + 955
    - 438


    Defenseman

    ;
  12. 12
    + 694
    - 344

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  13. 13
    + 571
    - 278


    ;
  14. 14
    + 377
    - 160

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 576
    - 324


    Centerman

    ;
  16. 16
    + 555
    - 318


    Centerman

    ;
  17. 17
    + 501
    - 258


    Goaltender

    ;
  18. 18
    + 681
    - 350


    ;
  19. 19
    + 571
    - 272


    Centerman

    ;
  20. 20
    + 412
    - 218

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  21. 21
    + 214
    - 54


    Goaltender

    ;
  22. 22
    + 391
    - 206


    Centerman

    ;
  23. 23
    + 542
    - 316

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 358
    - 182


    Defenseman

    ;
  25. 25
    + 308
    - 138


    Defenseman

    ;
  26. 26
    + 312
    - 159

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  27. 27
    + 1,099
    - 661


    Right wing

    ;
  28. 28
    + 741
    - 657

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  29. 29
    + 661
    - 384

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  30. 30
    + 378
    - 209


    Centerman

    ;
  31. 31
    + 304
    - 164

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  32. 32
    + 345
    - 197

    added by gaug66

    ;
  33. 33
    + 657
    - 365


    Right wing

    ;
  34. 34
    + 407
    - 196


    ;
  35. 35
    + 329
    - 182


    Centerman

    ;
  36. 36
    + 301
    - 173

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  37. 37
    + 322
    - 185


    Centerman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 326
    - 216


    Centerman

    ;
  39. 39
    + 256
    - 157


    Centerman

    ;
  40. 40
    + 211
    - 126

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  41. 41
    + 305
    - 148

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 377
    - 291

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  43. 43
    + 195
    - 103

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 370
    - 300

    added by klubibar
    Right wing, Centerman

    ;
  45. 45
    + 162
    - 65

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Goaltender

    ;
  46. 46
    + 223
    - 111


    Centerman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 505
    - 407


    Defenseman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 396
    - 280

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  49. 49
    + 150
    - 55


    ;
  50. 50
    + 453
    - 344


    Goaltender

    ;
367 +

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