5 1 of 17
83,470 votes 3,988 voters 72,503 views 369 items tags f p @

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!

The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
  • 144 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
Z
G Options
B Comments
& Embed
2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1479
    - 449

    the people's #1
    Defenseman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1288
    - 335


    Centerman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1567
    - 601

    most listed
    Centerman

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1061
    - 330


    Right wing

    ;
  5. 5
    + 846
    - 305


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 751
    - 256

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 829
    - 372


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 620
    - 284


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 662
    - 247

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  10. 10
    + 639
    - 342

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  11. 11
    + 727
    - 368


    Defenseman

    ;
  12. 12
    + 557
    - 250

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  13. 13
    + 430
    - 172


    ;
  14. 14
    + 452
    - 213


    Centerman

    ;
  15. 15
    + 387
    - 165


    Goaltender

    ;
  16. 16
    + 457
    - 239


    Centerman

    ;
  17. 17
    + 447
    - 247


    Centerman

    ;
  18. 18
    + 815
    - 627


    Right wing

    ;
  19. 19
    + 257
    - 90

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  20. 20
    + 507
    - 300


    ;
  21. 21
    + 488
    - 311

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  22. 22
    + 560
    - 612

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  23. 23
    + 293
    - 145


    Centerman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 520
    - 332


    Right wing

    ;
  25. 25
    + 324
    - 134

    ranked low on reranks

    ;
  26. 26
    + 262
    - 125


    Defenseman

    ;
  27. 27
    + 266
    - 128

    added by gaug66

    ;
  28. 28
    + 301
    - 168

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  29. 29
    + 228
    - 103

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  30. 30
    + 241
    - 100


    ;
  31. 31
    + 278
    - 140

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ;
  32. 32
    + 272
    - 155


    Centerman

    ;
  33. 33
    + 246
    - 120


    Centerman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 211
    - 102

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  35. 35
    + 195
    - 88

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  36. 36
    + 269
    - 172


    Defenseman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 194
    - 87


    Defenseman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 691
    - 505


    Centerman

    ;
  39. 39
    + 265
    - 129


    Right wing

    ;
  40. 40
    + 572
    - 531

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  41. 41
    + 232
    - 108


    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 111
    - 56

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  43. 43
    + 239
    - 139


    Centerman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 207
    - 93

    ranked low on reranks
    Right wing

    ;
  45. 45
    + 304
    - 243

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  46. 46
    + 241
    - 170


    Centerman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 406
    - 289

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 93
    - 13

    ranked low on reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  49. 49
    + 406
    - 626

    often listed & added by Scott H
    Left Wing

    ;
  50. 50
    + 581
    - 660

    added by BlakeMangone
    Centerman

    ;
370 +

Something missing? Add it!

L List Options 2 Rerank List B Comments & Embed z Share Next List >