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!

  • 59 ReRanks
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2rerank list
  1. 51
    + 154
    - 96

    Centerman

    ) open
  2. 52
    + 239
    - 86

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  3. 53
    + 120
    - 219

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  4. 54
    + 167
    - 193

    added by klubibar

    ) open
  5. 55
    + 186
    - 77

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66

    ) open
  6. 56
    + 174
    - 283

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Centerman, Defenseman

    ) open
  7. 57
    + 148
    - 254

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Right wing, Centerman

    ) open
  8. 58
    + 147
    - 64

    ranked low on reranks & added by gaug66
    Goaltender

    ) open
  9. 59
    + 168
    - 80

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ) open
  10. 60
    + 169
    - 81

    Centerman

    ) open
  11. 61
    + 174
    - 85
    ) open
  12. 62
    + 163
    - 79
    ) open
  13. 63
    + 156
    - 74

    Centerman

    ) open
  14. 64
    + 140
    - 255

    Centerman

    ) open
  15. 65
    + 58
    - 49

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ) open
  16. 66
    + 120
    - 123
    ) open
  17. 67
    + 161
    - 260

    Left Wing

    ) open
  18. 68
    + 110
    - 73

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ) open
  19. 69
    + 100
    - 90

    Defenseman

    ) open
  20. 70
    + 124
    - 64

    Right wing

    ) open
  21. 71
    + 105
    - 101
    ) open
  22. 72
    + 120
    - 86
    ) open
  23. 73
    + 90
    - 92

    Centerman

    ) open
  24. 74
    + 90
    - 58
    ) open
  25. 75
    + 102
    - 132
    ) open
  26. 76
    + 117
    - 110

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ) open
  27. 77
    + 83
    - 94

    Centerman

    ) open
  28. 78
    + 71
    - 40

    added by JC_Hage
    Grant Fuhr

  29. 79
    + 91
    - 166

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  30. 80
    + 55
    - 28

    added by Harrison1
    Defenseman

    ) open
  31. 81
    + 100
    - 189

    Centerman

    ) open
  32. 82
    + 107
    - 79

    Left Wing

    ) open
  33. 83
    + 47
    - 38

    added by Harrison1
    Goaltender

    ) open
  34. 84
    + 40
    - 68
    ) open
  35. 85
    + 79
    - 107

    Right wing

    ) open
  36. 86
    + 76
    - 97

    Defenseman

    ) open
  37. 87
    + 136
    - 296
    ) open
  38. 88
    + 91
    - 201
    ) open
  39. 89
    + 88
    - 183
    ) open
  40. 90
    + 117
    - 214
    ) open
  41. 91
    + 62
    - 118

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Defenseman

    ) open
  42. 92
    + 40
    - 112

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Centerman

    ) open
  43. 93
    + 80
    - 169

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Right wing

    ) open
  44. 94
    + 81
    - 90

    Right wing

    ) open
  45. 95
    + 148
    - 62

    ranked low on reranks

    ) open
  46. 96
    + 89
    - 69
    ) open
  47. 97
    + 133
    - 91

    added by Harrison1
    Left Wing

    ) open
  48. 98
    + 66
    - 53

    added by JC_Hage
    Mike Vernon

  49. 99
    + 53
    - 53

    Goaltender

    ) open
  50. 100
    + 76
    - 93

    Centerman, Forward

    ) open
227 +

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