The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players

The Best NHL Players of All Time

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96,780 votes 4,764 voters 81,291 views 366 items tags f p @

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 Photo: user uploaded image
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 188 ReRanks
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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G Options B Comments & Embed 2rerank list
  1. 1
    + 1707
    - 583

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Defenseman

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1939
    - 668


    Centerman

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1524
    - 430


    Centerman

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1260
    - 381


    Right wing

    ;
  5. 5
    + 992
    - 369


    Right wing

    ;
  6. 6
    + 890
    - 325

    added by klubibar
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 7
    + 944
    - 427


    Left Wing

    ;
  8. 8
    + 733
    - 337


    Defenseman

    ;
  9. 9
    + 757
    - 295

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  10. 10
    + 737
    - 387

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
  11. 11
    + 638
    - 298

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  12. 12
    + 849
    - 407


    Defenseman

    ;
  13. 13
    + 505
    - 227


    ;
  14. 14
    + 328
    - 124

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  15. 15
    + 460
    - 213


    Goaltender

    ;
  16. 16
    + 530
    - 281


    Centerman

    ;
  17. 17
    + 508
    - 286


    Centerman

    ;
  18. 18
    + 608
    - 322


    ;
  19. 19
    + 519
    - 250


    Centerman

    ;
  20. 20
    + 600
    - 347

    added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  21. 21
    + 1005
    - 645


    Right wing

    ;
  22. 22
    + 604
    - 354


    Right wing

    ;
  23. 23
    + 352
    - 178


    Centerman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 365
    - 196

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  25. 25
    + 319
    - 154


    Defenseman

    ;
  26. 26
    + 319
    - 162

    added by gaug66

    ;
  27. 27
    + 276
    - 130

    added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ;
  28. 28
    + 380
    - 163


    ;
  29. 29
    + 660
    - 635

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Goaltender

    ;
  30. 30
    + 170
    - 31


    Goaltender

    ;
  31. 31
    + 277
    - 130

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  32. 32
    + 334
    - 181


    Centerman

    ;
  33. 33
    + 259
    - 112


    Defenseman

    ;
  34. 34
    + 300
    - 146


    Centerman

    ;
  35. 35
    + 266
    - 126

    added by BostonBruins
    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  36. 36
    + 482
    - 305

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  37. 37
    + 176
    - 85

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  38. 38
    + 292
    - 157


    Centerman

    ;
  39. 39
    + 289
    - 189


    Centerman

    ;
  40. 40
    + 282
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks

    ;
  41. 41
    + 367
    - 258

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  42. 42
    + 167
    - 64

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Defenseman

    ;
  43. 43
    + 275
    - 124


    Centerman

    ;
  44. 44
    + 334
    - 174

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ;
  45. 45
    + 318
    - 190


    Defenseman

    ;
  46. 46
    + 221
    - 137


    Centerman

    ;
  47. 47
    + 335
    - 271

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  48. 48
    + 195
    - 83

    added by Harrison1
    Defenseman

    ;
  49. 49
    + 315
    - 214


    Left Wing

    ;
  50. 50
    + 241
    - 110


    Right wing

    ;
367 +

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