The Best NHL Players of All Time

116k votes 5.7k voters 96k views 392 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!
Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 239 ReRanks
    • Women
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 51
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    - 162


    Centerman

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  2. 52
    + 259
    - 174


    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  3. 53
    + 290
    - 166


    Defenseman

    ;
  4. 54
    + 709
    - 492


    Centerman

    ;
  5. 55
    + 772
    - 577


    Goaltender

    ;
  6. 56
    + 247
    - 150

    added by JC_Hage
    Goaltender

    ;
  7. 57
    + 917
    - 533


    Centerman

    ;
  8. 58
    + 422
    - 293

    added by klubibar
    Centerman

    ;
  9. 59
    + 363
    - 296

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

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  10. 60
    + 205
    - 127

    added by gaug66
    Centerman

    ;
  11. 61
    + 426
    - 250

    added by klubibar

    ;
  12. 62
    + 363
    - 254


    ;
  13. 63
    + 273
    - 167

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Defenseman

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  14. 64
    + 310
    - 165


    ;
  15. 65
    + 357
    - 251


    Left Wing

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  16. 66
    + 361
    - 224


    Defenseman

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  17. 67
    + 253
    - 133


    Centerman

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  18. 68
    + 219
    - 123


    Centerman

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  19. 69
    + 238
    - 141

    added by Harrison1
    Defenseman

    ;
  20. 70
    + 253
    - 158


    Centerman

    ;
  21. 71
    + 388
    - 238

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

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  22. 72
    + 237
    - 135


    Right wing

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  23. 73
    + 194
    - 115


    Left Wing

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  24. 74
    + 318
    - 239


    Centerman

    ;
  25. 75
    + 371
    - 245


    Goaltender

    ;
  26. 76
    + 135
    - 43

    added by grom66
    Right wing

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  27. 77
    + 794
    - 735

    ranked high on reranks & added by BlakeMangone
    Centerman

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  28. 78
    + 302
    - 187


    ;
  29. 79
    + 145
    - 69


    ;
  30. 80
    + 238
    - 153


    Centerman

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  31. 81
    + 219
    - 87

    ranked low on reranks & added by JC_Hage
    Goaltender

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  32. 82
    + 149
    - 73


    Defenseman

    ;
  33. 83
    + 260
    - 144


    Right wing

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  34. 84
    + 293
    - 176


    Centerman

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  35. 85
    + 580
    - 687

    often listed & added by Scott H
    Left Wing

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  36. 86
    + 192
    - 109


    Centerman

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  37. 87
    + 151
    - 63

    added by slaft
    Right wing

    ;
  38. 88
    + 243
    - 147


    Defenseman

    ;
  39. 89
    + 302
    - 290

    often listed & added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  40. 90
    + 329
    - 186


    Right wing

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  41. 91
    + 199
    - 128

    added by gaug66
    Centerman

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  42. 92
    + 140
    - 60

    added by mainpleine
    Defenseman

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  43. 93
    + 165
    - 93


    Defenseman

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  44. 94
    + 163
    - 76


    Right wing

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  45. 95
    + 382
    - 319


    Defenseman

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  46. 96
    + 171
    - 103

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Centerman

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  47. 97
    + 268
    - 168


    Centerman

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  48. 98
    + 168
    - 109


    Left Wing

    ;
  49. 99
    + 144
    - 76


    Defenseman

    ;
  50. 100
    + 173
    - 114

    added by gaug66
    Left Wing

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