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!
  • 32 ReRanks
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  1. 51
    Up 114
    Down 156

    added by klubibar

    open
  2. 52
    Up 95
    Down 212

    Centerman, Defenseman

    open
  3. 53
    Up 104
    Down 190

    Centerman

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  4. 54
    Up 72
    Down 47

    added by klubibar Defenseman

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  5. 55
    Up 79
    Down 51

    Defenseman

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  6. 56
    Up 59
    Down 100

    Defenseman

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  7. 57
    Up 122
    Down 207

    Left Wing

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  8. 58
    Up 72
    Down 59

    Centerman

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  9. 59
    Up 85
    Down 78

    Centerman

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  10. 60
    Up 62
    Down 57

    Centerman

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  11. 61
    Up 55
    Down 14

    added by gaug66 Goaltender

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  12. 62
    Up 96
    Down 51

    Left Wing

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  13. 63
    Up 63
    Down 66

    Centerman, Forward

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  14. 64
    Up 157
    Down 45

    ranked low on reranks

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  15. 65
    Up 58
    Down 31

    Defenseman

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  16. 66
    Up 79
    Down 94

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  17. 67
    Up 91
    Down 33

    added by mainpleine Centerman

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  18. 68
    Up 68
    Down 168

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Right wing

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  19. 69
    Up 55
    Down 131

    often listed & ranked high on reranks Centerman

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  20. 70
    Up 124
    Down 31

    new! & added by gaug66

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  21. 71
    Up 131
    Down 40

    Centerman

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  22. 72
    Up 128
    Down 40

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    open
  23. 73
    Up 71
    Down 78

    added by klubibar Centerman

    open
  24. 74
    Up 74
    Down 51

    Right wing

    open
  25. 75
    Up 98
    Down 229

    Left Wing

    open
  26. 76
    Up 136
    Down 41

    ranked low on reranks Centerman

    open
  27. 77
    Up 42
    Down 85

    added by klubibar Centerman, Defenseman

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  28. 78
    Up 79
    Down 197

    Defenseman

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  29. 79
    Up 75
    Down 185

    open
  30. 80
    Up 93
    Down 24

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66 Goaltender

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  31. 81
    Up 52
    Down 80

    Right wing

    open
  32. 82
    Up 63
    Down 157

    Centerman

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  33. 83
    Up 100
    Down 34

    ranked low on reranks

    open
  34. 84
    Up 46
    Down 69

    Centerman

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  35. 85
    Up 36
    Down 148

    Defenseman

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  36. 86
    Up 106
    Down 47

    ranked low on reranks Right wing

    open
  37. 87
    Up 44
    Down 134

    Right wing

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  38. 88
    Up 49
    Down 150

    Left Wing

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  39. 89
    Up 38
    Down 89

    Defenseman

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  40. 90
    Up 43
    Down 90

    Centerman

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  41. 91
    Up 38
    Down 35

    Goaltender

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  42. 92
    Up 64
    Down 148

    added by Harrison1 Left Wing, Centerman

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  43. 93
    Up 68
    Down 50

    added by Harrison1 Left Wing

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  44. 94
    Up 43
    Down 55

    added by Harrison1 Goaltender

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  45. 95
    Up 69
    Down 28

    Goaltender

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  46. 96
    Up 35
    Down 125

    Defenseman

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  47. 97
    Up 44
    Down 82

    Centerman

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  48. 98
    Up 46
    Down 59

    Right wing

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  49. 99
    Up 35
    Down 63

    Centerman

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  50. 100
    Up 86
    Down 32

    ranked low on reranks Right wing

    open
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