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!
  • 53 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 872
    - 330

    the people's #1 & most listed Centerman

    ) open
  2. 2
    + 886
    - 260

    Defenseman

    ) open
  3. 3
    + 574
    - 186

    Right wing

    ) open
  4. 4
    + 694
    - 192

    Centerman

    ) open
  5. 5
    + 515
    - 157

    Right wing

    ) open
  6. 6
    + 530
    - 211

    Left Wing

    ) open
  7. 7
    + 313
    - 320

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  8. 8
    + 402
    - 393

    Right wing

    ) open
  9. 9
    + 313
    - 277

    often listed & added by BlakeMangone Centerman

    ) open
  10. 10
    + 352
    - 126

    Defenseman

    ) open
  11. 11
    + 406
    - 133

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  12. 12
    + 317
    - 359

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  13. 13
    + 385
    - 125

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Goaltender

    ) open
  14. 14
    + 406
    - 377

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  15. 15
    + 428
    - 141

    ranked low on reranks & added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  16. 16
    + 140
    - 306

    often listed & added by Scott H Left Wing

    ) open
  17. 17
    + 347
    - 129

    added by klubibar Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  18. 18
    + 380
    - 281

    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 19
    + 273
    - 210
    ) open
  20. 20
    + 251
    - 181

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  21. 21
    + 254
    - 120

    Centerman

    ) open
  22. 22
    + 278
    - 276

    Right wing

    ) open
  23. 23
    + 215
    - 202

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  24. 24
    + 283
    - 366

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  25. 25
    + 312
    - 135

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  26. 26
    + 309
    - 124

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  27. 27
    + 159
    - 180

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  28. 28
    + 256
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks Goaltender

    ) open
  29. 29
    + 257
    - 352
    ) open
  30. 30
    + 207
    - 324

    Defenseman

    ) open
  31. 31
    + 228
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  32. 32
    + 186
    - 273

    Goaltender

    ) open
  33. 33
    + 137
    - 97

    Centerman

    ) open
  34. 34
    + 90
    - 90

    added by Harrison1 Centerman

    ) open
  35. 35
    + 147
    - 103

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  36. 36
    + 152
    - 67

    Centerman

    ) open
  37. 37
    + 118
    - 204

    often listed & added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  38. 38
    + 76
    - 128

    Defenseman

    ) open
  39. 39
    + 175
    - 65

    Centerman

    ) open
  40. 40
    + 147
    - 134

    Left Wing

    ) open
  41. 41
    + 148
    - 63

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  42. 42
    + 135
    - 169

    Goaltender

    ) open
  43. 43
    + 148
    - 177

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  44. 44
    + 152
    - 242

    Defenseman

    ) open
  45. 45
    + 130
    - 52

    Defenseman

    ) open
  46. 46
    + 131
    - 98

    Defenseman

    ) open
  47. 47
    + 201
    - 251

    often listed & added by klubibar Right wing

    ) open
  48. 48
    + 214
    - 59

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  49. 49
    + 110
    - 30

    added by gaug66 Goaltender

    ) open
  50. 50
    + 172
    - 322

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Defenseman

    ) open
201 +

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