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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!

The Best NHL Players of All Time Hockey Players
  • 149 ReRanks
    • Women
    • Men
    • Age
    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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2rerank list
  1. 51
    + 412
    - 626

    often listed & added by Scott H
    Left Wing

    ;
  2. 52
    + 586
    - 660

    added by BlakeMangone
    Centerman

    ;
  3. 53
    + 282
    - 256

    added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  4. 54
    + 234
    - 121

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ;
  5. 55
    + 225
    - 226

    often listed & added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  6. 56
    + 265
    - 202


    Left Wing

    ;
  7. 57
    + 177
    - 122


    Centerman

    ;
  8. 58
    + 94
    - 22

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Goaltender

    ;
  9. 59
    + 151
    - 72


    Centerman

    ;
  10. 60
    + 141
    - 66

    added by Harrison1
    Defenseman

    ;
  11. 61
    + 163
    - 69


    Defenseman

    ;
  12. 62
    + 216
    - 155


    ;
  13. 63
    + 103
    - 100

    often listed & added by ConnorMurphy1
    Goaltender

    ;
  14. 64
    + 213
    - 135

    added by Harrison1
    Left Wing

    ;
  15. 65
    + 149
    - 55

    added by gaug66
    Right wing

    ;
  16. 66
    + 193
    - 116


    Right wing

    ;
  17. 67
    + 168
    - 119


    Centerman

    ;
  18. 68
    + 136
    - 80

    added by gaug66
    Centerman

    ;
  19. 69
    + 182
    - 108


    Left Wing

    ;
  20. 70
    + 169
    - 113


    Defenseman

    ;
  21. 71
    + 290
    - 221

    added by klubibar

    ;
  22. 72
    + 120
    - 61

    added by gaug66
    Centerman

    ;
  23. 73
    + 383
    - 391

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Defenseman

    ;
  24. 74
    + 267
    - 276

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Right wing, Centerman

    ;
  25. 75
    + 148
    - 86

    added by JC_Hage
    Goaltender

    ;
  26. 76
    + 187
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks & added by Harrison1
    Goaltender

    ;
  27. 77
    + 521
    - 464


    Centerman

    ;
  28. 78
    + 157
    - 122


    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  29. 79
    + 131
    - 81

    added by Harrison1
    Goaltender

    ;
  30. 80
    + 167
    - 103


    Forward

    ;
  31. 81
    + 241
    - 262

    often listed & added by klubibar
    Defenseman

    ;
  32. 82
    + 336
    - 327


    Goaltender

    ;
  33. 83
    + 75
    - 18


    ;
  34. 84
    + 191
    - 186

    often listed & Ranked High on Reranks
    Centerman

    ;
  35. 85
    + 99
    - 42

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Centerman

    ;
  36. 86
    + 83
    - 30


    Defenseman

    ;
  37. 87
    + 80
    - 33


    Patrice Bergeron

  38. 88
    + 165
    - 125


    Centerman

    ;
  39. 89
    + 158
    - 134

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Defenseman

    ;
  40. 90
    + 95
    - 41

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Left Wing

    ;
  41. 91
    + 150
    - 102


    Right wing

    ;
  42. 92
    + 261
    - 218


    Goaltender

    ;
  43. 93
    + 114
    - 66

    added by gaug66
    Left Wing

    ;
  44. 94
    + 198
    - 145


    Centerman

    ;
  45. 95
    + 68
    - 17
    No image

    added by gaug66

    ;
  46. 96
    + 67
    - 13

    added by gaug66
    Patrick Sundstrom

  47. 97
    + 469
    - 440


    ;
  48. 98
    + 74
    - 20


    Defenseman

    ;
  49. 99
    + 110
    - 58


    Defenseman

    ;
  50. 100
    + 394
    - 326

    added by klubibar
    Right wing

    ;
370 +

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