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!
  • 40 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 792
    - 295

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 809
    - 235

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 527
    - 161

    Right wing

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 625
    - 179

    Centerman

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 479
    - 131

    Right wing

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 498
    - 176

    Left Wing

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 343
    - 367

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Right wing

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 317
    - 93

    Defenseman

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 379
    - 116

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 279
    - 223

    added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 267
    - 294

    Goaltender

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 367
    - 357

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 274
    - 339

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 400
    - 120

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 346
    - 113

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Goaltender

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 328
    - 106

    added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 347
    - 272

    Defenseman

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 237
    - 102

    Centerman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 244
    - 202
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 251
    - 261

    Right wing

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 196
    - 188

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 255
    - 348

    Centerman

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 210
    - 168

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 296
    - 117

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 104
    - 267

    often listed & added by Scott H Left Wing

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 294
    - 110

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 151
    - 162

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 234
    - 336
    ) open
  29. 29
    + 244
    - 56

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  30. 30
    + 188
    - 313

    Defenseman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 206
    - 61

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 167
    - 262

    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 111
    - 194

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 131
    - 84

    Centerman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 137
    - 94

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 140
    - 55

    Centerman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 140
    - 123

    Left Wing

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 119
    - 90

    Defenseman

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 117
    - 45

    Defenseman

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 142
    - 53

    Centerman

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 157
    - 311

    Defenseman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 126
    - 161

    Goaltender

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 81
    - 72

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 164
    - 58

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 141
    - 233

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 136
    - 166

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 201
    - 49

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 164
    - 38

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 95
    - 179

    often listed & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 177
    - 242

    added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
180 +

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