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!

  • 55 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 924
    - 348

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 928
    - 268

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 602
    - 198

    Right wing

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 734
    - 199

    Centerman

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 534
    - 168

    Right wing

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 324
    - 340

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 432
    - 410

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Right wing

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 543
    - 224

    ranked low on reranks Left Wing

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 342
    - 307

    often listed & added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 366
    - 135

    Defenseman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 424
    - 139

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 337
    - 365

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 429
    - 383

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 402
    - 135

    added by klubibar Goaltender

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 439
    - 153

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 166
    - 319

    often listed & added by Scott H Left Wing

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 355
    - 136

    added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 399
    - 286

    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 287
    - 215
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 264
    - 188

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 263
    - 129

    Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 292
    - 280

    Right wing

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 228
    - 207

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 305
    - 371

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 313
    - 140

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 313
    - 129

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 163
    - 184

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 260
    - 76

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 262
    - 357
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 216
    - 327

    Defenseman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 236
    - 75

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 191
    - 276

    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 140
    - 100

    Centerman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 153
    - 107

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 81
    - 142

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 156
    - 73

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 123
    - 207

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 179
    - 69

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 91
    - 101

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 151
    - 138

    Left Wing

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 149
    - 67

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 138
    - 172

    Goaltender

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 157
    - 181

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 158
    - 244

    Defenseman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 138
    - 102

    Defenseman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 135
    - 54

    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 215
    - 253

    added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 116
    - 33

    added by gaug66 Goaltender

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 219
    - 63

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 178
    - 324

    Defenseman

    ) open
200 +

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