Greatest Hockey Players

Over the years, there have been thousands of different hockey players that came through the NHL. While there are historical records for every single player to ever suit up in the league, the fact of the matter is that we only remember a few. Whether you’re a sports better who likes hockey due to the gambling action, or a tried-and-true hockey fan who loves the on-ice action, you probably have a few hockey players who you consider to be among the greatest.

On this list, we’re going to cover five of the greatest hockey players of all time. Other than our number-one player, who is a universal lock, the rest of the list is in no particular order. If you feel we left someone out, feel free to contact us and complain.

1: Wayne Gretzky

The Great One, the singular reason that the NHL made it through the ’80s ? Mr. Wayne Gretzky. Even if you’re not a hockey fan, your hat should be tipped in appreciation to this man. His records are so numerous that it would take you days to list them all. And in some areas he’s so far out ahead of the next closest player that it would take fifty additional years of play to even tie him. With 2,857 career points, he is over 1,000 points ahead of the next closet competitor. He also has 700 more assists than anyone else, and he led his Oilers to four Stanley Cups. Along the way, he set new playoff records every year, and he was known as the greatest to ever play at least six years before he retired. Gretzky is objectively number one and made a lot of people who enjoy betting on hockey a boat load of money.

2: Bobby Orr

While the number-one position is set in stone, 2-5 are up for interpretation. Bobby Orr is a good fit at #2 due to everything he brought to the game and the commitment he gave to his teammates. Over Orr’s relatively short career, he racked up 8 Norris trophies in a row, 3 Hart trophies, and more. He also led the league in scoring two different seasons ? as a defensemen! That’s just insane for a defensive position. It’s unheard of; it may never be done again. Orr played the game at a speed at least two gears ahead of anyone else. He has the second-highest total of goals in a season, and in only 657 career games, he scored 915 points. If he was a healthy player with two good knees, many contend that he and Gretzky would have been neck and neck on the leaderboards.

3: Gordie Howe

Continuing in the tradition of Grekzky and Orr, here is another name that you’ve probably heard a lot even if you’re not a hockey fan. Gordie Howe was the epitome of a professional throughout his career. They dubbed him Mr. Hockey, and he never disappointed. Howe’s longevity was something to marvel at. He began his hockey career with his first game in 1946, and he played his last game in 1980. Talk about a long, storied career! When he retired in ’80, he was the leader in every major statistical category, with 801 goals, 1,049 assists, and 1,850 points. He also won four Stanley Cups over his career. Unfortunately, Howe died at only 40 years old.

4: Mario Lemieux

Mario the Magnificent ? in terms of pure talent and things he could do with the puck, Mario was single-handedly the most impressive player of all time. He had on-ice grace despite his large stature, and he could flatten a defender at any time he so chose. Starting up his prime years as Grekzky was reaching retirement, the consensus was that Lemieux could catch and perhaps even exceed Wayne’s records. However, failing health got to Mario, and he didn’t last very long. He played 915 games in his career and amassed a total of 690 goals, 1,723 points, and won two Stanley Cups and Olympic gold. Pound for pound, he was the most frightening opponent on the ice in NHL history.

5: Maurice Richard

With the number-five position on this list, there are over a dozen players who could easily fill this spot. But for his tenacity on the ice and his legacy as an unparalleled scorer, Maurice Richard, AKA The Rocket, takes this spot. He wasn’t making the greatest, most creative shots on the ice, but he had a will and a drive to get to the net. And this would lead him to 544 goals in his career. Amazingly, Richard would win nine Stanley Cup trophies over his career, but only a single Hart Trophy. He wasn’t all about the flash and huge numbers, but with a will to win and a natural ability that carried his teams for over a decade, Richard earned this spot.

There are many more hockey players who could have easily made this list. Doug Harvey, Bobby Hull, Mark Messier, and many, many more ? we could go on for page after page talking about the great players to come through the NHL.