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!
  • 22 ReRanks
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  1. 51
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    1931

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  2. 52
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1970

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  3. 53
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    ranked low on reranks 1948

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  4. 54
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1965

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  5. 55
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    ranked low on reranks 1962

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  6. 56
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    1971

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  7. 57
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    1890

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  8. 58
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    1940

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  9. 59
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1946

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  10. 60
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    1950

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  11. 61
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    No image

    Mike Bossy

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  12. 62
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    1966

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  13. 63
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    added by Harrison1 1980

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  14. 64
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    1887

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  15. 65
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    1965

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  16. 66
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    1938

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  17. 67
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    1931

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  18. 68
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    added by klubibar 1927

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  19. 69
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    1963

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  20. 70
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    ranked low on reranks 1945

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  21. 71
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    1968

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  22. 72
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    1932

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  23. 73
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    added by klubibar 1951

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  24. 74
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    1948

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  25. 75
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1943

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  26. 76
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    1973

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  27. 77
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    1961

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  28. 78
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    added by klubibar 1971

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  29. 79
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    1968

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  30. 80
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    1979

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  31. 81
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    1974

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  32. 82
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    1953

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  33. 83
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    1977

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  34. 84
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    1974

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  35. 85
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    1963

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  36. 86
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    1977

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  37. 87
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    1918

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  38. 88
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    1907

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  39. 89
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    1955

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  40. 90
    Up 26
    Down 14

    ranked low on reranks 1958

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  41. 91
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    1918

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  42. 92
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    1940

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  43. 93
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    No image

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  44. 94
    Up 21
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    1943

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  45. 95
    Up 34
    Down 31

    1964

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  46. 96
    Up 19
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1918

    open
  47. 97
    Up 13
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    often listed & ranked high on reranks 1930

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  48. 98
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    ranked low on reranks 1930

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  49. 99
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    1961

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  50. 100
    Up 24
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    1988

    open
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