The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players

The Best NHL Players of All Time

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99k votes 4.9k voters 84k 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!

List Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 190 ReRanks
    • Women
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 2,023
    - 689


    Centerman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,321
    - 396


    Right wing

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,589
    - 455


    Centerman

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,765
    - 610

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Defenseman

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,027
    - 382


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 908
    - 348

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 969
    - 439


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 755
    - 351


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 778
    - 304

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  10. 10
    + 756
    - 396

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  11. 11
    + 652
    - 313

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  12. 12
    + 875
    - 417


    Defenseman

    ;
  13. 13
    + 523
    - 239


    ;
  14. 14
    + 342
    - 135

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 541
    - 290


    Centerman

    ;
  16. 16
    + 469
    - 227


    Goaltender

    ;
  17. 17
    + 521
    - 294


    Centerman

    ;
  18. 18
    + 633
    - 325


    ;
  19. 19
    + 532
    - 255


    Centerman

    ;
  20. 20
    + 615
    - 360

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1,040
    - 651


    Right wing

    ;
  22. 22
    + 623
    - 356


    Right wing

    ;
  23. 23
    + 374
    - 200

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 360
    - 187


    Centerman

    ;
  25. 25
    + 181
    - 35


    Goaltender

    ;
  26. 26
    + 686
    - 639

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  27. 27
    + 328
    - 162


    Defenseman

    ;
  28. 28
    + 282
    - 136

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  29. 29
    + 385
    - 171


    ;
  30. 30
    + 321
    - 170

    added by gaug66

    ;
  31. 31
    + 283
    - 136

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  32. 32
    + 342
    - 186


    Centerman

    ;
  33. 33
    + 267
    - 117


    Defenseman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 275
    - 132

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  35. 35
    + 496
    - 307

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  36. 36
    + 307
    - 154


    Centerman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 185
    - 92

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 298
    - 162


    Centerman

    ;
  39. 39
    + 298
    - 193


    Centerman

    ;
  40. 40
    + 287
    - 127

    ranked low on reranks

    ;
  41. 41
    + 376
    - 263

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 282
    - 128


    Centerman

    ;
  43. 43
    + 173
    - 74

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 346
    - 184

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ;
  45. 45
    + 345
    - 273

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  46. 46
    + 226
    - 140


    Centerman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 201
    - 87

    added by Harrison1
    Defenseman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 324
    - 195


    Defenseman

    ;
  49. 49
    + 139
    - 44

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Goaltender

    ;
  50. 50
    + 200
    - 90


    Centerman

    ;
367 +

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