The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
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22  reranks 16,085 votes 976 voters 25,994 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 435
    Down 133

    the people's #1
    Wayne Gretzky

    1961 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 378
    Down 98
    1948 More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 359
    Down 105
    1965 More
    99
  4. 4
    Up 323
    Down 90

    most listed
    Gordie Howe

    1928 More
    99
  5. 5
    Up 220
    Down 74
    1921 More
    94
  6. 6
    Up 190
    Down 90
    1939 More
    88
  7. 7
    Up 229
    Down 94
    1965 More
    86
  8. 8
    Up 171
    Down 75
    1951 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 214
    Down 92
    1970 More
    81
  10. 10
    Up 163
    Down 87
    1961 More
    81
  11. 11
    Up 202
    Down 109
    1972 More
    80
  12. 12
    Up 118
    Down 56
    1942 More
    78
    added by: klubibar
  13. 13
    Up 164
    Down 86
    1965 More
    78
  14. 14
    Up 156
    Down 90
    1969 More
    75
  15. 15
    Up 25
    Down 7

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Ray Bourque

    1960 More
    75
  16. 16
    Up 106
    Down 44
    1931 More
    74
    added by: klubibar
  17. 17
    Up 148
    Down 59
    1972 More
    74
  18. 18
    Up 118
    Down 47
    1957 More
    73
    added by: klubibar
  19. 19
    Up 121
    Down 77
    1961 More
    71
  20. 20
    Up 91
    Down 41
    1929 More
    70
  21. 21
    Up 125
    Down 44

    ranked low on reranks
    Dominik Hašek

    1965 More
    69
    added by: klubibar
  22. 22
    Up 87
    Down 49
    1951 More
    68
  23. 23
    Up 116
    Down 74
    1962 More
    68
  24. 24
    Up 136
    Down 94
    1973 More
    68
  25. 25
    Up 82
    Down 58

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddie Shore

    1902 More
    67
    added by: klubibar
  26. 26
    Up 90
    Down 41
    1940 More
    67
    added by: klubibar
  27. 27
    Up 63
    Down 48

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Doug Harvey

    1924 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  28. 28
    Up 89
    Down 43
    1951 More
    64
  29. 29
    Up 118
    Down 64
    1964 More
    64
  30. 30
    Up 123
    Down 60
    1978 More
    64
    added by: Harrison1
  31. 31
    Up 74
    Down 36
    1936 More
    63
  32. 32
    Up 98
    Down 39
    1970 More
    61
    added by: klubibar
  33. 33
    Up 71
    Down 39
    1956 More
    60
    added by: klubibar
  34. 34
    Up 65
    Down 51

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Howie Morenz

    1902 More
    60
    added by: klubibar
  35. 35
    Up 74
    Down 41
    1929 More
    60
  36. 36
    Up 73
    Down 51
    1949 More
    59
    added by: klubibar
  37. 37
    Up 85
    Down 42
    1925 More
    59
  38. 38
    Up 64
    Down 34
    1969 More
    56
  39. 39
    Up 80
    Down 54
    1960 More
    55
    added by: klubibar
  40. 40
    Up 65
    Down 45
    1950 More
    54
  41. 41
    Up 97
    Down 86
    1987 More
    54
    added by: BlakeMangone
  42. 42
    Up 79
    Down 50
    1969 More
    54
  43. 43
    Up 67
    Down 42
    1935 More
    53
  44. 44
    Up 64
    Down 46
    1953 More
    53
    added by: klubibar
  45. 45
    Up 44
    Down 47

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alexander Ovechkin

    1985 More
    52
    added by: Scott H
  46. 46
    Up 47
    Down 27
    1963 More
    52
  47. 47
    Up 52
    Down 34
    1963 More
    51
  48. 48
    Up 57
    Down 52
    1931 More
    51
  49. 49
    Up 55
    Down 39
    1970 More
    51
  50. 50
    Up 50
    Down 27
    1980 More
    50
    added by: Harrison1
  51. 200 +

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