The Best NHL Players of All Time

112k votes 5.5k voters 92k views 389 items tags f p @

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!
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 233 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1,928
    - 708

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Defenseman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 2,290
    - 741


    Centerman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,775
    - 529


    Centerman

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,502
    - 458


    Right wing

    ;
  5. 5
    + 1,137
    - 427


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 1,016
    - 415

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 1,056
    - 492


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 852
    - 400


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 861
    - 436

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  10. 10
    + 1,000
    - 455


    Defenseman

    ;
  11. 11
    + 725
    - 360

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  12. 12
    + 845
    - 336

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  13. 13
    + 606
    - 295


    ;
  14. 14
    + 410
    - 168

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 609
    - 340


    Centerman

    ;
  16. 16
    + 580
    - 330


    Centerman

    ;
  17. 17
    + 526
    - 270


    Goaltender

    ;
  18. 18
    + 711
    - 359


    ;
  19. 19
    + 450
    - 226

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  20. 20
    + 244
    - 64


    Goaltender

    ;
  21. 21
    + 594
    - 279


    Centerman

    ;
  22. 22
    + 580
    - 322

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  23. 23
    + 411
    - 222


    Centerman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 382
    - 194


    Defenseman

    ;
  25. 25
    + 339
    - 174

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  26. 26
    + 329
    - 155


    Defenseman

    ;
  27. 27
    + 325
    - 175

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  28. 28
    + 400
    - 223


    Centerman

    ;
  29. 29
    + 363
    - 212

    added by gaug66

    ;
  30. 30
    + 429
    - 207


    ;
  31. 31
    + 1,148
    - 669


    Right wing

    ;
  32. 32
    + 776
    - 666

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  33. 33
    + 343
    - 197


    Centerman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 348
    - 197


    Centerman

    ;
  35. 35
    + 347
    - 227


    Centerman

    ;
  36. 36
    + 325
    - 194

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  37. 37
    + 679
    - 393

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 681
    - 369


    Right wing

    ;
  39. 39
    + 278
    - 165


    Centerman

    ;
  40. 40
    + 407
    - 296

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  41. 41
    + 326
    - 159


    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 241
    - 145

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  43. 43
    + 401
    - 305

    added by klubibar
    Right wing, Centerman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 182
    - 73

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Goaltender

    ;
  45. 45
    + 546
    - 410


    Defenseman

    ;
  46. 46
    + 243
    - 118


    Centerman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 219
    - 124

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 483
    - 348


    Goaltender

    ;
  49. 49
    + 170
    - 64


    ;
  50. 50
    + 254
    - 160


    Centerman, Forward

    ;
390 +

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