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!

  • 59 ReRanks
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    • Region
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1179
    - 440

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1158
    - 333

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 951
    - 247

    Centerman

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 779
    - 252

    Right wing

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 636
    - 236
    ) open
  6. 6
    + 584
    - 511

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Right wing

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 652
    - 280

    Left Wing

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 407
    - 456

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 440
    - 465

    often listed & added by BlakeMangone
    Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 453
    - 197

    ranked low on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 445
    - 434

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 510
    - 186

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 537
    - 177

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 531
    - 429

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 541
    - 195

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 255
    - 443

    often listed & added by Scott H
    Left Wing

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 524
    - 324
    ) open
  18. 18
    + 422
    - 182

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 359
    - 254
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 378
    - 305

    Right wing

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 391
    - 412

    Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 296
    - 241

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 333
    - 248

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 314
    - 168

    Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 342
    - 183
    ) open
  26. 26
    + 343
    - 169
    ) open
  27. 27
    + 333
    - 400

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 189
    - 218

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 270
    - 359

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 287
    - 108

    ranked low on reranks
    Goaltender

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 290
    - 104

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 238
    - 296

    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 195
    - 131

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 169
    - 134

    Defenseman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 173
    - 196

    Goaltender

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 192
    - 202

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 146
    - 238

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 275
    - 283

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 197
    - 269

    Defenseman

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 174
    - 166

    Left Wing

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 154
    - 135

    Centerman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 104
    - 210

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 119
    - 148

    added by hellodalai
    Right wing, Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 181
    - 108

    Centerman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 202
    - 98

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 227
    - 352

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 254
    - 328

    Right wing

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 118
    - 158

    often listed & added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 161
    - 79

    ranked low on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 148
    - 52

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ) open
227 +

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