10 Greatest Hockey Players of all Time

The ice may have long melted, but some hockey greats’ names stay etched forever. There are those that are non-debatable on any “best hockey players of all time” list for the way they revolutionized the game and dominated in the rink. The National Hockey League (NHL) sees players come and go but the best hockey players are immortalized for years to come. Naming the greatest hockey player is almost impossible, but here’s a list of the top 10 hockey players of all time according to Sports Speakers 360.

1. Wayne Gretzky

Wayne Gretzky is probably the most famous hockey player to ever play in the NHL due to his scoring ability. He holds the NHL record of 215 points in a season, which he set in the 1985-86 campaign.

A genius on the ice, Gretzky reached 200 points four times in his career and won 10 NHL scoring titles. He always surpassed 130 points in each of these seasons, making him the all-time leader in points (2,857) and goals (894) to date—a cool 1,000 points above the second player on the list. Aside from being regarded as the best hockey player ever, Gretzky is also considered one of the NHL’s best-ever playmakers.

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2. Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest hockey players of all time. He possessed incredible speed and power on the ice, carrying the puck end-to-end before his opponents could reach him. His combination of speed, scoring and play-making abilities revolutionized the position of defenceman in the NHL. Orr passed the 100-point mark six times in his career and won eight Norris Trophies. He tallied a total of 915 points during his 12 years in the league.

3. Mario Lemieux

At 19, Mario Lemieux, nicknamed “The Magnificent One”, was already making the news for power plays. He is the only player in NHL history to score five goals in five different ways in a single game. He won two Stanley Cups and six NHL scoring titles in his career and is the only player to beat Wayne Gretzky’s goals-per-game scoring average. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with cancer in 1993 but beat it and made a successful comeback, winning the NHL scoring title in the season of his return.

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4. Gordie Howe

Nicknamed “Mr. Hockey”, Howe is often considered the most complete player to ever play the game and one of the greatest hockey players of all time. The late NHL Hall of Famer, who earned a reputation for being ruthless on the ice, played to age 52 and dominated the rink thanks to his skill and ability to physically dominate. In his 26 NHL seasons, Howe scored 801 goals along with 174 more in six World Hockey Association seasons.

5. Mark Messier

Impressive credentials that include 15 All-Star games, five Stanley Cups and one MVP honor validate Mark Messier as one of hockey’s greatest captains. In addition to his great leadership, Messier ranks third all-time in points (1,887) and second all-time in playoff points (295). No “top 10 NHL players of all-time” list is complete without his name on it. Messier’s 26-year NHL career saw him pass the 100-point mark six times, including 107 during an MVP season in 1991-92.

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6. Maurice Richard

Maurice “Rocket” Richard was the first player in NHL history to score 50 goals in a season and the first to score 500 goals in his career. His strong offensive play led to the NHL naming the goal-scoring trophy given to the league’s top scorer after him. In his 18-year career, Richard totaled 966 points in 978 appearances, earned 14 All-Star recognitions and won eight championships with the Canadiens. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1961.

7. Bobby Hull

The former Chicago Blackhawks star carved out a place in history with his great speed as a skater and shooter. His raw speed and blonde hair gave him the nickname “The Golden Jet”. At his best, his famous slapshot was clocked at 118 mph and his top skating speed at 29.7 mph. He reached or passed the 50-goal mark five times in his career, including a high of 58 in the 1968-69 NHL season.

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8. Jean Beliveau

Added to the Hall of Fame in 1972, Jean Beliveau was famous for his gracefulness and talent on the ice. He won 10 Stanley Cups, the Hart Trophy twice and the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoffs MVP in 1965. He was named to the All-Star team 13 times and is one of only 47 players in history to hit the 1,200-point mark.

9. Guy Lafleur

Guy Lafleur was the first player in the NHL to score 50 or more goals and register 100 points for six consecutive seasons, spanning 1975 to 1980. He reached 1,000 NHL points in just 720 games, winning three scoring titles and two Hart trophies in the process. He also won four consecutive Stanley Cup titles and the 1977 Conn Smythe Trophy.

10. Martin Brodeur

Martin Brodeur is considered one of the greatest goalies to have ever played in the NHL. He has the most wins of any goalie in league history. He played 21 of 22 seasons with the New Jersey Devils, winning three Stanley Cups and five Eastern Conference championships with the team.

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There you have it, our list of the top 10 hockey players to ever skate in the NHL. If you’d like to book one of our hockey motivational speakers, please contact Sports Speakers 360 at (303) 747-4087 or fill out our contact form to get started!

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