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!
  • 24 ReRanks
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  1. 51
    Up 49
    Down 21

    1940

    open
  2. 52
    Up 53
    Down 20

    1932

    open
  3. 53
    Up 65
    Down 40

    1931

    open
  4. 54
    Up 61
    Down 32

    1948

    open
  5. 55
    Up 61
    Down 42

    1890

    open
  6. 56
    Up 52
    Down 33

    added by klubibar 1951

    open
  7. 57
    Up 51
    Down 27

    1887

    open
  8. 58
    Up 63
    Down 39

    1938

    open
  9. 59
    Up 62
    Down 128

    added by Scott H 1985

    open
  10. 60
    Up 81
    Down 111

    1969

    open
  11. 61
    Up 53
    Down 69

    1965

    open
  12. 62
    Up 42
    Down 2

    new! & added by gaug66 1913

    open
  13. 63
    Up 93
    Down 126

    1969

    open
  14. 64
    Up 60
    Down 101

    1931

    open
  15. 65
    Up 43
    Down 15

    1958

    open
  16. 66
    Up 74
    Down 116

    1973

    open
  17. 67
    Up 65
    Down 102

    1970

    open
  18. 68
    Up 56
    Down 91

    1963

    open
  19. 69
    Up 26
    Down 1
    No image

    new! & added by gaug66 1947

    open
  20. 70
    Up 31
    Down 57

    added by klubibar 1927

    open
  21. 71
    Up 48
    Down 32

    1916

    open
  22. 72
    Up 29
    Down 89

    1946

    open
  23. 73
    Up 73
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks 1958

    open
  24. 74
    Up 48
    Down 57

    added by klubibar 1971

    open
  25. 75
    Up 57
    Down 96

    added by Harrison1 1980

    open
  26. 76
    Up 40
    Down 93

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1966

    open
  27. 77
    Up 39
    Down 91

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1965

    open
  28. 78
    Up 74
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks 1956

    open
  29. 79
    Up 67
    Down 19

    ranked low on reranks 1912

    open
  30. 80
    Up 69
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks 1941

    open
  31. 81
    Up 50
    Down 74

    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1977

    open
  32. 82
    Up 63
    Down 20

    1925

    open
  33. 83
    Up 63
    Down 20

    open
  34. 84
    Up 33
    Down 94

    1961

    open
  35. 85
    Up 46
    Down 106

    1973

    open
  36. 86
    Up 35
    Down 76

    1974

    open
  37. 87
    Up 27
    Down 92

    1943

    open
  38. 88
    Up 37
    Down 88

    1968

    open
  39. 89
    Up 49
    Down 18

    ranked low on reranks 1887

    open
  40. 90
    Up 24
    Down 2

    new! & added by gaug66 1953

    open
  41. 91
    Up 36
    Down 63
    No image

    Mike Bossy

    open
  42. 92
    Up 41
    Down 78

    1979

    open
  43. 93
    Up 35
    Down 37

    1975

    open
  44. 94
    Up 28
    Down 66

    1940

    open
  45. 95
    Up 26
    Down 47

    1935

    open
  46. 96
    Up 50
    Down 15

    ranked low on reranks 1957

    open
  47. 97
    Up 40
    Down 78

    1918

    open
  48. 98
    Up 37
    Down 71

    1963

    open
  49. 99
    Up 25
    Down 60

    1943

    open
  50. 100
    Up 37
    Down 68

    1968

    open
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