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!

  • 58 ReRanks
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    • Region
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1096
    - 397

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 1068
    - 308


    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 870
    - 224


    Centerman

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 710
    - 231


    Right wing

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 591
    - 217


    Right wing

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 532
    - 467

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Right wing

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 379
    - 407


    Goaltender

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 604
    - 262

    ranked low on reranks
    Left Wing

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 406
    - 408

    often listed & added by BlakeMangone
    Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 413
    - 175

    ranked low on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 408
    - 406

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 473
    - 167

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 489
    - 161

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 491
    - 409

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 498
    - 178

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 225
    - 399

    often listed & added by Scott H
    Left Wing

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 394
    - 165

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 479
    - 306


    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 326
    - 244
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 340
    - 297


    Right wing

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 313
    - 224

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 357
    - 396

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 287
    - 156


    Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 262
    - 232

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 327
    - 170
    ) open
  26. 26
    + 328
    - 159

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 310
    - 384

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 174
    - 207

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 251
    - 346


    Defenseman

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 272
    - 99

    ranked low on reranks
    Goaltender

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 265
    - 95

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 218
    - 289


    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 169
    - 124

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 162
    - 185


    Goaltender

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 94
    - 183

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Defenseman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 135
    - 228

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 146
    - 125


    Centerman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 162
    - 153


    Left Wing

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 250
    - 270

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 169
    - 96


    Centerman

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 177
    - 258


    Defenseman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 101
    - 124

    added by hellodalai
    Right wing, Centerman

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 173
    - 196

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 191
    - 89

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 106
    - 139

    often listed & added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 210
    - 340


    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 152
    - 122


    Defenseman

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 147
    - 71


    Defenseman

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 152
    - 90

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 224
    - 319

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Right wing

    ) open
197 +

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