The Best NHL Players of All Time

106k votes 5.1k voters 88k views 366 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
  • 208 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 51
    + 848
    - 526


    Centerman

    ;
  2. 52
    + 444
    - 343
    Terry Sawchuk is listed (or ranked) 52 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Terry Sawchuk Goaltender

  3. 53
    + 257
    - 145


    Defenseman

    ;
  4. 54
    + 226
    - 153


    Centerman, Forward

    ;
  5. 55
    + 340
    - 210
    Al MacInnis is listed (or ranked) 55 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Al MacInnis Defenseman

  6. 56
    + 387
    - 239
    Jari Kurri is listed (or ranked) 56 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

    added by klubibar
    Jari Kurri

  7. 57
    + 701
    - 564


    Goaltender

    ;
  8. 58
    + 275
    - 207


    Centerman

    ;
  9. 59
    + 335
    - 232
    Johnny Bucyk is listed (or ranked) 59 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Johnny Bucyk Left Wing

  10. 60
    + 219
    - 125

    added by JC_Hage
    Goaltender

    ;
  11. 61
    + 360
    - 208

    added by mainpleine
    Centerman

    ;
  12. 62
    + 180
    - 96

    added by gaug66
    Centerman

    ;
  13. 63
    + 242
    - 148


    Centerman

    ;
  14. 64
    + 235
    - 145


    Centerman

    ;
  15. 65
    + 208
    - 108
    Shea Weber is listed (or ranked) 65 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

    added by Harrison1
    Shea Weber Defenseman

  16. 66
    + 283
    - 176


    ;
  17. 67
    + 250
    - 129


    Right wing

    ;
  18. 68
    + 626
    - 480


    Centerman

    ;
  19. 69
    + 713
    - 713
    Sidney Crosby is listed (or ranked) 69 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

    added by BlakeMangone
    Sidney Crosby Centerman

  20. 70
    + 318
    - 284
    Doug Harvey is listed (or ranked) 70 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

    added by klubibar
    Doug Harvey Defenseman

  21. 71
    + 530
    - 664

    often listed & added by Scott H
    Left Wing

    ;
  22. 72
    + 273
    - 164

    ranked low on reranks
    Centerman

    ;
  23. 73
    + 186
    - 113

    added by gaug66
    Centerman

    ;
  24. 74
    + 125
    - 51


    ;
  25. 75
    + 214
    - 137


    Centerman

    ;
  26. 76
    + 170
    - 97

    added by gaug66
    Left Wing

    ;
  27. 77
    + 230
    - 154

    added by klubibar
    Centerman, Defenseman

    ;
  28. 78
    + 136
    - 62


    Defenseman

    ;
  29. 79
    + 211
    - 122


    Right wing

    ;
  30. 80
    + 266
    - 155


    Centerman

    ;
  31. 81
    + 131
    - 56


    Defenseman

    ;
  32. 82
    + 308
    - 245
    Mike Modano is listed (or ranked) 82 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Mike Modano

  33. 83
    + 311
    - 170


    Right wing

    ;
  34. 84
    + 165
    - 93
    Brian Sutter is listed (or ranked) 84 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Brian Sutter Left Wing

  35. 85
    + 183
    - 107
    Norm Ullman is listed (or ranked) 85 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Norm Ullman Centerman

  36. 86
    + 276
    - 270

    often listed & added by Harrison1
    Centerman

    ;
  37. 87
    + 210
    - 121
    Denis Savard is listed (or ranked) 87 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time


    Denis Savard Centerman

  38. 88
    + 223
    - 135


    Defenseman

    ;
  39. 89
    + 105
    - 29

    added by grom66
    Right wing

    ;
  40. 90
    + 270
    - 228


    Centerman

    ;
  41. 91
    + 324
    - 238


    Goaltender

    ;
  42. 92
    + 150
    - 80

    added by ConnorMurphy1
    Centerman

    ;
  43. 93
    + 144
    - 68


    Right wing

    ;
  44. 94
    + 187
    - 106


    Centerman

    ;
  45. 95
    + 272
    - 183


    Centerman

    ;
  46. 96
    + 193
    - 97


    Defenseman

    ;
  47. 97
    + 125
    - 50

    added by slaft
    Right wing

    ;
  48. 98
    + 149
    - 100


    Left Wing

    ;
  49. 99
    + 184
    - 74

    added by JC_Hage
    Goaltender

    ;
  50. 100
    + 176
    - 115
    Pekka Rinne is listed (or ranked) 100 on the list The Best NHL Players of All Time

    added by Harrison1
    Pekka Rinne Goaltender

367 +

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