The Best Current NHL Players

Over 22.9K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Current NHL Players
Voting Rules
Only active hockey players in the NHL right now

The best current NHL players are not just the league-leading skaters and goaltenders in the league right now but also some of the best hockey players in the world. These players are consistently leading their teams in statistical categories and in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

As the NHL's golden child and fan favorite NHL player, Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is seen by many as the best current NHL player. The young star quickly made his mark in the league by leading the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Championship in 2009 at the age of 21, the youngest captain to ever do so. He had a little help though with Evgeni Malkin, who also makes this list, serving as the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the MVP of the playoffs.

But there are many more great current NHL players in the league besides those playing in Pittsburgh. Steven Stamkos, Alexander Giroux, Alexander Ovechkin, Pavel Datsyuk, Zdeno Chara and Jonathan Toews are all among the elite forwards and defensemen in the NHL right now. In net, Jonathan Quick and Jimmy Howard are seen as the top NHL goaltenders right now.

Who do you think are the top NHL players in the league right now? The better question might be will these current hockey players be remembered among the best NHL players of all time? Have your say and vote for your favorites for the 2018-2019 season, add those not listed or re-rank this list of the best current NHL players!

Most divisive: Erik Karlsson
Ranked by
  • Connor Mcdavid
    6,304 votes
    • Birthplace: Newmarket, Canada
    • Nationality: Canada

    Undeniably one of the most electrifying players in the NHL today, Connor McDavid has the innate ability to single-handedly dictate the outcome of a game with his exceptional speed, vision, and playmaking abilities. By constantly challenging opponents with his unpredictable movement and acceleration, McDavid has been dubbed "the future of hockey" for good reason. His unparalleled skills have not only revolutionized the sport but also leave spectators and fellow players in awe on a nightly basis.

  • Nathan MacKinnon
    4,972 votes
    • Birthplace: Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
    • Nationality: Canada

    A relentless competitor and offensive dynamo, Nathan MacKinnon's explosive speed and precise playmaking have endeared him to fans and fellow players alike. As a true game-changer, MacKinnon forces opponents to adapt to his furious pace, consequently opening up space for his teammates. With his excellent shot and innate ability to find open ice, MacKinnon has firmly established himself as one of the most dominant players in the league.

  • Auston Matthews
    4,521 votes
    • Birthplace: San Ramon, California, United States of America
    • Nationality: United States of America

    Auston Matthews, known for his goal-scoring prowess, has quickly become one of the most dangerous shooters in the league, boasting an impressive combination of accuracy, speed, and strength that leaves goaltenders shaking in their skates. With his keen ability to find the back of the net from virtually any angle, he's transformed the way teams approach offense and forced defenses to adapt their strategies accordingly. In addition to his goal-scoring abilities, Matthews' strong two-way game has elevated him to superstardom status.

  • Leon Draisaitl
    1,349 votes
    • Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
    • Nationality: Germany

    A powerful force on the ice, Leon Draisaitl's size, hockey IQ, and lethal shot make him one of the most dominant offensive talents in the league. As a versatile forward, Draisaitl is able to play both center and wing, providing his team with a unique advantage. Despite his size, his ability to create open space for his teammates and anticipate plays has solidified his place among the NHL elite.

  • Cale Makar
    910 votes

    In a league where dynamic defensemen are highly coveted, Cale Makar's offensive instincts and puck-moving abilities have made him stand out amongst the best. With his fluid skating and exceptional vision on the ice, Makar dictates play from the back end and creates scoring chances for his teammates with ease. It's this rare combination of defensive responsibility and offensive threat that has earned him a rightful place among the top NHL players.

  • Sidney Crosby
    12,839 votes
    • Birthplace: Halifax, Halifax Regional Municipality, Canada
    • Nationality: Canada

    Having cemented his legacy as one of the greatest players of all time, Sidney Crosby's vision, hockey IQ, and incredible work ethic remain unparalleled in the modern era. Often referred to as "the complete package," Crosby's exceptional playmaking abilities and two-way game have earned him respect from opponents and teammates alike. His leadership on and off the ice continues to influence the next generation of players, making him an integral part of hockey's storied history.