The Best NHL Players of All Time Bobby Orr

Who are the best NHL players of all time? We looked at some tape, crunched some numbers, and came up with 10 deserving candidates.

The Best NHL Players of All Time

  • Jean Beliveau (Games: 1,125 | Goals: 507 | Assists: 712 | Points: 1,219)
    Inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, fans widely regard Béliveau as one of the ten greatest NHL players of all time. Béliveau has 17 Stanley Cup championships, the most by any individual to date. All championships have been with the Canadiens: 10 as a player and seven as an executive.
  • Mike Bossy (Games: 752 | Goals: 573 | Assists: 553 | Points: 1,126)
    A sniper with lightning-fast hands, Bossy is the NHL’s all-time leader in average goals scored per regular season game. Additionally, Bossy holds the record for most consecutive 50-goal seasons.
  • Martin Brodeur (Games: 1,266 | Wins: 691 | Losses: 397 | Ties: 105 | GAA: 2.24)
    The greatest goaltender in the history of the NHL, Brodeur holds the record for career wins, losses, shutouts, and games played. Incidentally, Brodeur’s puck handling was so well known that it led to the NHL changing its rules. The “Brodeur rule” limits where goaltenders may handle the puck.
  • Wayne Gretzky (Games: 1,487 | Goals: 894 | Assists: 1,963 | Points: 2,857)
    Gretzky has been called the greatest hockey player ever by many sportswriters, players, and by the NHL itself. In addition to being the NHL’s leading goal scorer, he has more career assists than any other player has points. Of course, it’s obvious why fans refer to Gretzky as “The Great One.”
  • Gordie Howe (Games: 1,767 | Goals: 801 | Assists: 1,049 | Points: 1,850)
    “Mr. Hockey” was the iron man of North American hockey, having played 32 seasons in the NHL (26) and WHA (6). In particular, he played 25 seasons for the Detroit Red Wings. At his retirement, his career goals, assists, and total points were all NHL records that stood until Gretzky broke them.

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The Best NHL Players of All Time

  • Jaromir Jagr (Games: 1,733 | Goals: 766 | Assists: 1,155 | Points: 1,921)
    Still active at 51, Jagr has played 35 seasons across the NHL, ELH, and KHL. In fact, Jágr has the second-most points in NHL history after Gretzky.
  • Mario Lemieux (Games: 915 | Goals: 690 | Assists: 1,033 | Points: 1,723)
    ”Super Mario” ranks second in NHL history with a 0.754 career goals-per-game average, behind Bossy (0.762). Also, he ranks second in NHL history with a 1.129 career assists-per-game average, behind Gretzky (1.320). Despite playing in 20 seasons, Lemieux topped 70 games just six times, losing time to numerous ailments, including spinal disc herniation, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic tendinitis of a hip-flexor muscle, and chronic back pain.
  • Bobby Orr (Games: 657 | Goals: 270 | Assists: 645 | Points: 915)
    Orr revolutionized how defensemen played the game, introducing the concept of their being a scoring threat. In fact, Orr remains the only defenceman to have won the league scoring (twice). Additionally, Orr holds the record for most points and assists in a single season by a defenceman. Unfortunately, repeated knee injuries ended his career.
  • Alex Ovechkin (Games: 1,347 | Goals: 822 | Assists: 663 | Points: 1,485)
    Fans view “The Great Eight” as one of the greatest goal-scorers in NHL history, and he’s still going strong. Second only to Gretzky in career goals, Ovechkin also holds many other records, including the most power-play goals and most goals with the same team in NHL history.
  • Maurice Richard (Games: 978 | Goals: 544 | Assists: 421 | Points: 965)
    “The Rocket” was the first truly prolific scorer in NHL history. In fact, Richard was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in one season (1944–45) and the first to reach 500 career goals.

Wrapping Up

This is our list of the best NHL players of all time. Do you agree with our selections? Who would you have included in this list? Drop a note in the comments and let us know!

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