The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
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22  reranks 15,568 votes 944 voters 25,070 views more info

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!
List is ranked by a combination of each item's votes & positioning in reranks
  • 22 ReRanks
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    • Region
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</> Rerank List
Score
  1. 1
    Up 418
    Down 130

    the people's #1
    Wayne Gretzky

    1961 More
    100
  2. 2
    Up 365
    Down 95
    1948 More
    100
  3. 3
    Up 313
    Down 86

    most listed
    Gordie Howe

    1928 More
    100
  4. 4
    Up 342
    Down 101
    1965 More
    99
  5. 5
    Up 214
    Down 69
    1921 More
    95
  6. 6
    Up 182
    Down 87
    1939 More
    88
  7. 7
    Up 216
    Down 92
    1965 More
    86
  8. 8
    Up 165
    Down 72
    1951 More
    83
  9. 9
    Up 181
    Down 85
    1960 More
    82
  10. 10
    Up 203
    Down 87
    1970 More
    81
  11. 11
    Up 158
    Down 82
    1961 More
    81
  12. 12
    Up 192
    Down 105
    1972 More
    80
  13. 13
    Up 115
    Down 52
    1942 More
    79
    added by: klubibar
  14. 14
    Up 156
    Down 84
    1965 More
    78
  15. 15
    Up 150
    Down 88
    1969 More
    75
  16. 16
    Up 100
    Down 43
    1931 More
    74
    added by: klubibar
  17. 17
    Up 138
    Down 57
    1972 More
    74
  18. 18
    Up 113
    Down 44
    1957 More
    73
    added by: klubibar
  19. 19
    Up 118
    Down 71
    1961 More
    71
  20. 20
    Up 87
    Down 40
    1929 More
    70
  21. 21
    Up 119
    Down 41

    ranked low on reranks
    Dominik Hašek

    1965 More
    69
    added by: klubibar
  22. 22
    Up 116
    Down 68
    1962 More
    69
  23. 23
    Up 136
    Down 87
    1973 More
    69
  24. 24
    Up 82
    Down 47
    1951 More
    68
  25. 25
    Up 79
    Down 55

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Eddie Shore

    1902 More
    67
    added by: klubibar
  26. 26
    Up 85
    Down 39
    1940 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  27. 27
    Up 59
    Down 46

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Doug Harvey

    1924 More
    66
    added by: klubibar
  28. 28
    Up 87
    Down 39
    1951 More
    65
  29. 29
    Up 113
    Down 60
    1964 More
    65
  30. 30
    Up 117
    Down 53
    1978 More
    64
    added by: Harrison1
  31. 31
    Up 70
    Down 34
    1936 More
    63
  32. 32
    Up 91
    Down 35
    1970 More
    62
    added by: klubibar
  33. 33
    Up 64
    Down 49

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Howie Morenz

    1902 More
    61
    added by: klubibar
  34. 34
    Up 68
    Down 37
    1956 More
    61
    added by: klubibar
  35. 35
    Up 72
    Down 47
    1949 More
    60
    added by: klubibar
  36. 36
    Up 71
    Down 40
    1929 More
    60
  37. 37
    Up 84
    Down 38
    1925 More
    60
  38. 38
    Up 60
    Down 30
    1969 More
    56
  39. 39
    Up 75
    Down 50
    1960 More
    55
    added by: klubibar
  40. 40
    Up 63
    Down 42
    1950 More
    55
  41. 41
    Up 76
    Down 46
    1969 More
    54
  42. 42
    Up 88
    Down 79
    1987 More
    54
    added by: BlakeMangone
  43. 43
    Up 62
    Down 43
    1953 More
    54
    added by: klubibar
  44. 44
    Up 64
    Down 40
    1935 More
    53
  45. 45
    Up 37
    Down 39

    often listed &ranked high on reranks
    Alexander Ovechkin

    1985 More
    53
    added by: Scott H
  46. 46
    Up 45
    Down 24
    1963 More
    52
  47. 47
    Up 50
    Down 31
    1963 More
    52
  48. 48
    Up 54
    Down 35
    1970 More
    52
  49. 49
    Up 55
    Down 49
    1931 More
    52
  50. 50
    Up 36
    Down 22
    1966 More
    51
  51. 203 +

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