It will always be controversial to list the greatest athletes in any sport. Even though some of the best players in the National Hockey League are regarded as the best, some fans disagree with the exact rankings.


Aside from goals and assists, other factors make a great hockey player. These include the type of player he is, the skills he brings to the table, and his impact on the game. While statistics are vital, they do not consider the other aspects of a great player’s game.


This list includes the best hockey players, excluding current professional players. It’s not ideal to rank current stars such as Alexander Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby, as their careers are still young. However, they will most likely make appearances on these lists in the future.


Wayne Gretzky

Since his nickname is The Great One, it’s clear that Wayne Gretzky is the greatest of all time. He had 1,963 assists during his career, which is more than any other player in the history of the National Hockey League. He also ended his career with almost 900 goals.


In addition, he was able to score over 160 points in nine different seasons. He also won four Stanley Cup championships and 10 Art Ross Trophies. He was also named one of the most outstanding players in the history of the Hart Trophies.


Gordie Howe

Howe, known as Mr. Hockey, is regarded as one of the greatest players in history. He was able to score over 20 goals in 23 seasons. At the age of 52, he was able to produce 15 goals.


Before Wayne Gretzky showed up, Howe was the first player in the league’s history to reach 800 career goals. He ended his career with over 1,500 games in 26 seasons in the National Hockey League and the World Hockey Association. He won six MVP awards and scoring titles.


Bobby Orr

Due to various injuries throughout Bobby Orr’s career, he could not achieve even more impressive achievements. Nevertheless, he is regarded as the league’s version of Ken Griffey Jr., a player who made you wonder what would have happened if he wasn’t injured.


Despite his injury-plagued career, he could still produce 120 points during the 1969-’70 season. He also won the league’s scoring title as a defender. He collected eight consecutive Trophies as the league’s top defensive player. He played just over 600 games during his career.


Mario Lemieux

Like his teammate Jaromir Jagr, Lemieux was also a gifted player. He was able to score 69 goals in four different seasons. He is regarded as one of the league’s best goal-scorers.


Regarding total points scored during a single season, Lemieux is currently fifth with 199. He has four of the highest single-season totals, tied with the great Wayne Gretzky.


He ended his career with over 1,700 points, three Hart Trophies, nine All-Star appearances, and two Stanley Cup championships. His job would have been even better if it weren’t for cancer.


Jean Béliveau

Like Bill Russell, a great athlete in the National Hockey League, Béliveau is regarded as one of the best players in the history of the sport. He was able to win 10 Stanley Cup titles during his career. He was also able to collect over 1,200 points during his career. He also participated in 13 All-Star appearances and the Conn Smythe Trophy ceremony.