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. 51
    + 176
    - 51

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66

    ) open
  2. 52
    + 192
    - 305

    Right wing

    ) open
  3. 53
    + 104
    - 195

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  4. 54
    + 59
    - 89

    often listed & added by hellodalai Right wing, Centerman

    ) open
  5. 55
    + 139
    - 40

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66 Goaltender

    ) open
  6. 56
    + 137
    - 171

    often listed & added by klubibar

    ) open
  7. 57
    + 163
    - 58

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  8. 58
    + 155
    - 55

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  9. 59
    + 131
    - 232

    often listed & added by klubibar Right wing, Centerman

    ) open
  10. 60
    + 147
    - 52

    Centerman

    ) open
  11. 61
    + 153
    - 59

    Right wing

    ) open
  12. 62
    + 133
    - 262

    Centerman, Defenseman

    ) open
  13. 63
    + 139
    - 52

    ranked low on reranks & added by mainpleine Centerman

    ) open
  14. 64
    + 121
    - 236

    Centerman

    ) open
  15. 65
    + 103
    - 102

    Centerman

    ) open
  16. 66
    + 140
    - 241

    Left Wing

    ) open
  17. 67
    + 33
    - 25

    added by mainpleine Centerman

    ) open
  18. 68
    + 89
    - 67

    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 69
    + 115
    - 45

    Right wing

    ) open
  20. 70
    + 82
    - 73

    Centerman

    ) open
  21. 71
    + 86
    - 57

    added by klubibar Defenseman

    ) open
  22. 72
    + 95
    - 63

    Right wing

    ) open
  23. 73
    + 90
    - 113
    ) open
  24. 74
    + 73
    - 39
    ) open
  25. 75
    + 70
    - 76

    Centerman

    ) open
  26. 76
    + 101
    - 60

    Left Wing

    ) open
  27. 77
    + 34
    - 46
    ) open
  28. 78
    + 58
    - 22

    added by JC_Hage Grant Fuhr

    ) open
  29. 79
    + 36
    - 84

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

    ) open
  30. 80
    + 85
    - 48

    Forward

    ) open
  31. 81
    + 77
    - 150

    Centerman

    ) open
  32. 82
    + 63
    - 31

    added by JC_Hage Mike Vernon

    ) open
  33. 83
    + 67
    - 92

    Right wing

    ) open
  34. 84
    + 54
    - 98

    added by klubibar Centerman, Defenseman

    ) open
  35. 85
    + 90
    - 95

    added by klubibar Centerman

    ) open
  36. 86
    + 61
    - 79

    Defenseman

    ) open
  37. 87
    + 137
    - 43

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  38. 88
    + 82
    - 176

    Centerman

    ) open
  39. 89
    + 46
    - 21

    added by gaug66 Left Wing

    ) open
  40. 90
    + 28
    - 17

    added by Harrison1 Goaltender

    ) open
  41. 91
    + 78
    - 187

    Right wing

    ) open
  42. 92
    + 114
    - 274
    ) open
  43. 93
    + 115
    - 70

    added by Harrison1 Left Wing

    ) open
  44. 94
    + 32
    - 11

    added by Harrison1 Defenseman

    ) open
  45. 95
    + 62
    - 149

    Right wing

    ) open
  46. 96
    + 68
    - 75

    Centerman, Forward

    ) open
  47. 97
    + 68
    - 165

    Left Wing

    ) open
  48. 98
    + 50
    - 29

    added by JC_Hage Goaltender

    ) open
  49. 99
    + 93
    - 195
    ) open
  50. 100
    + 62
    - 72

    Defenseman

    ) open
201 +

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