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The Top 10 Best NHL Players of All Time

The National Hockey League is one of the most significant professional athletic leagues in the United States of America and Canada. The ice hockey sport comprises 25 teams in the United States of America and 7 in Canada. The league attracts large crowds and is considered among the top watched games in Canada and the USA. According to our expert Klara Czerwinska, NHL has continued to gain a massive following over the last century.

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Here are the best hockey players of all time

Alex Ovechkin

2004 NHL Draft - Alexander Ovechkin | Sports Team History

2004 NHL Draft - Alexander Ovechkin

Alex is an outstanding player who played for the Washington Capitals and is one of the best NHL players of all time. The humorous legend joined the national hockey league back in  2005 and has had a fantastic record at the Washington Capitals

Alex has won numerous accolades, including the Maurice Richard trophy, where he has won the title for best multiple scorers four times. He has also received the most valuable player title in the NHL by winning the Hart Memorial Trophy three times. Alex has also won the Stanley Cup for the Washington Capitals.

Jacques Plante

Plante is an outstanding goalie whose love for the game was unmatched. One of the people who popularised face masks was the Canadien Montreal goalie Jacques Plante. In one game back in 1959, Plante needed 21 facial stitches after being hit by a slap shot. 

Plante refused to get ice cubes on the injury unless he was allowed to wear a face mask, thus the rise of facemasks in Ice Hockey. Plante is among the best NHL goalies ever to live as he helped Montreal win the Stanley cup for five consecutive times. Plante was also a seven-time NHL-best goalie winner of the Vezina trophy. He also won the MVP award in 1959.

Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman was among the best NHL players of all time. Yzerman is among the most successful and long-serving NHL captains of the Detroit Red Wings. The Michigan-born legend was a quiet and diligent leader who secured an amazing three Stanley Cups for the Detroit Red Wings.

Terry Sawchuk

Sawchuk has been termed the most outstanding goalie of all time. Sawchuk had a 21-year hockey career that saw him win three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings and one Stanley Cup with the Toronto Map Leafs. Sawchuk also went through a lot to become a goalie, as he received 400 facial stitches in 1966 before undergoing facial reconstructive surgery. Sawchuk, however, died at the age of 40 after battling depression and alcoholism.

Jean Béliveau

Jean is among the best centers in NHL history. Jean, who played for the Montreal Canadiens, helped the team secure ten Stanley Cups. He was also the most valuable player in 1956 and 1964 after scoring 507 career goals. After his retirement, Jean was voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972.

Maurice Richard

Maurice Richard was a Montreal Canadiens right-winger nicknamed the “Rocket” for his speed and power in the game. Maurice lit up 50 lamps and scored 500 goals in one NHL season. Maurice also won the Stanley Cup for a record eight times. Maurice Richard was, however, short-tempered, a quality that saw him banned from playing for Montreal.

Mario Lemieux

Mario was among the tallest players in NHL history. Mario's 17-year NHL career with the Pittsburgh Penguins saw him score a fantastic 690 career goals and two Stanley Cups. Mario quit playing after being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma. He, however, became the owner of the team after he purchased the majority of the team’s shares. Mario broke the record after becoming the first person to win the Stanley Cup as a player and team owner. 

Bobby Orr

Bobby Orr is among the best defenseman in NHL history. The Boston Bruins legend was an eight-time winner of the James Norris Memorial Trophy. Bobby Orr was also a three-time MVP record holder. Bobby also won two consecutive Stanley Cups.

Wayne Gretzky



This top ten hockey player and NHL legend scored an impressive 894 career goals in his long-term career with the Edmonton Oilers. He won four Stanley Cups and was named MVP in the NHL for a record nine times. In 1988, Wayne was brought to the Los Angeles Kings, where he popularized Ice Hockey.

Gordie Howe

Gordie Howe was among the best hockey players of all time. Howe played ice hockey until the age of 52. Howe’s long-term hockey career has many accolades, including four Stanley Cups and a record 801 career goals. Howe was the founder of the Gordie Howe Hat Trick.

Final Thoughts

Hockey is one of the most loved games and has become a career for many. The National Hockey League is followed by fans worldwide and above are some of the best players that the world has ever seen.