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!
  • 24 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    Up 504
    Down 133

    most listed 1948

    open
  2. 2
    Up 548
    Down 170

    the people's #1 1961

    open
  3. 3
    Up 426
    Down 133

    1965

    open
  4. 4
    Up 381
    Down 111

    1928

    open
  5. 5
    Up 318
    Down 88

    1921

    open
  6. 6
    Up 290
    Down 107

    1939

    open
  7. 7
    Up 115
    Down 20

    1960

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  8. 8
    Up 265
    Down 180

    1965

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  9. 9
    Up 259
    Down 154

    1970

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  10. 10
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    Down 148

    1951

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  11. 11
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    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar 1957

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  12. 12
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    1961

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  13. 13
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    1972

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  14. 14
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    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar 1965

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  15. 15
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    1965

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  16. 16
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    added by klubibar 1942

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  17. 17
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    added by klubibar 1931

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  18. 18
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    1969

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  19. 19
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    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar 1940

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  20. 20
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    added by klubibar 1902

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  21. 21
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    1972

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  22. 22
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    1951

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  23. 23
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    added by klubibar 1924

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  24. 24
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    1961

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  25. 25
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    1929

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  26. 26
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    1973

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  27. 27
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    ranked low on reranks 1950

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  28. 28
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    added by Harrison1 1978

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  29. 29
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    1962

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  30. 30
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    ranked low on reranks 1956

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  31. 31
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    1951

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  32. 32
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    1929

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  33. 33
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    1964

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  34. 34
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    added by klubibar 1953

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  35. 35
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    added by klubibar 1956

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  36. 36
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    added by klubibar 1949

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  37. 37
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    added by BlakeMangone 1987

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  38. 38
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    often listed & added by klubibar 1902

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  39. 39
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    ranked low on reranks 1971

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  40. 40
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    added by klubibar 1970

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  41. 41
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    ranked low on reranks 1945

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  42. 42
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    1950

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  43. 43
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    1936

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  44. 44
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    1948

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  45. 45
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    1963

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  46. 46
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    1915

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  47. 47
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    1925

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  48. 48
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    added by klubibar 1960

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  49. 49
    Up 59
    Down 25

    1962

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  50. 50
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    1935

    open
172 +

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