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!

  • 57 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 992
    - 374

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 976
    - 291

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 645
    - 214

    Right wing

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 787
    - 211

    Centerman

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 558
    - 194

    Right wing

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 482
    - 440

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Right wing

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 342
    - 369

    Goaltender

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 561
    - 244

    ranked low on reranks Left Wing

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 369
    - 348

    often listed & added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 381
    - 157

    ranked low on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 367
    - 386

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 442
    - 153

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 195
    - 347

    often listed & added by Scott H Left Wing

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 437
    - 148

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Goaltender

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 449
    - 396

    Centerman

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 457
    - 168

    added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 365
    - 152

    added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 438
    - 294

    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 302
    - 227
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 283
    - 202

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 309
    - 289

    Right wing

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 269
    - 141

    Centerman

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 322
    - 382

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 239
    - 218

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 314
    - 153
    ) open
  26. 26
    + 316
    - 141

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 286
    - 369

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 166
    - 194

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 262
    - 87

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 227
    - 335

    Defenseman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 245
    - 83

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 197
    - 284

    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 88
    - 160

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 157
    - 115

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 141
    - 112

    Centerman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 162
    - 84

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 127
    - 217

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 147
    - 179

    Goaltender

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 183
    - 79

    Centerman

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 153
    - 147

    Left Wing

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 98
    - 122

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 161
    - 191

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 163
    - 252

    Defenseman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 229
    - 262

    added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 149
    - 79

    Centerman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 140
    - 62

    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 142
    - 112

    Defenseman

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 75
    - 103

    added by hellodalai Right wing, Centerman

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 190
    - 330

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 225
    - 74

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
200 +

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