The NHL has seen multiple talents grow to be legends in the game. Players have done almost everything to take their teams to the next level while lifting their status high to be named among the best. Here is a ranked list of 15 of the best hockey players currently.
The National Hockey League is the top hockey league with the best players on earth. This means the competition is stiff and to be ranked among the best is no joke. As the league gets tougher, these players have tried to remain relevant, facing their opponents head-on, and with the success they have brought to the team and individually, they deserve the credit. Below are the best hockey players right now.
Best hockey players today
The 2022-23 season is up and going with the most talented hockey players on earth. Here is a list of 15 of the best in the NHL.
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15. Aleksander Barkov, C, Panthers
Aleksander is an incredible player and the best on the Panthers' roster. The two-way centre has earned the recognition he deserves from the past seasons in the league and has been a big reason for Florida's emergence as a contender. He is a 6-foot-four giant who uses his big frame and quickness to be dangerous once he is close to the net. Combined with his tremendous shooting and skills with the puck, he is a menace to his opponents.
14. Kirill Kaprizov, LW, Wild
Coming over two years ago from Russia, Kirill has been a perfect piece for the Wild. The 2021 Calder Trophy winner has given Minnesota a superstar they have been lacking. He has strong play-driving numbers, wild outscoring, speed and puck-possessing ability that make him almost single-handedly make the team one of the most exciting to watch.
13. Mitch Marner, RW, Maple Leafs
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Marner is the alternate captain for the Toronto Maple Leafs for a reason. He is a sensational talent and has been an incredible scorer for the squad producing over a point-per-game rate for the last five seasons (as of 2023). What makes him unique is that as he posts these incredible offensive numbers, he is also elite at the defensive end.
12. Igor Shesterkin, G, Rangers
Igor is an incredible goalie for the Rangers. He is strong and tactical, and his aggressive style has faired very well in the NHL, making him one of the best goalies in the league. He was the Rangers' MVP and won the Vezina as the league's best goalie in 2022. While the Rangers' defence is not the best, Igor's presence at the goalpost makes them better, and he has brought the emerging team along faster than they otherwise would have.
11. Roman Josi, D, Predators
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Roman Josi's incredible performance with the Predators has made him the best player in the franchise. The defenseman is a terrific skater, and he is best at making smooth and quick power turns and crossovers to change direction. In 2021, he led all defensemen with 96 points, narrowly missing the 100-point mark, which Brian Leetch last acquired in 1992. He also became the first player in franchise history to win the Norris Trophy and the second player to win a performance-based NHL award (Pekka Rinne, 2018 Vezina Trophy)
10. Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Lightning
Andrei is arguably the best goalie in the NHL, thanks to his prowess and accomplishments. The Russian is a consistent player who, at 29 years, already owns two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe and a Vezina. Nicknamed 'The Big Cat' thanks to his cat-like quickness, massive frame, unflappable poise and unmatched production, he is the future of the Lightning. Fans have shown him unconditional love after he has established himself as one of the best big-game goalies of this generation.
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9. Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals
Alex is not a plant-himself-in-front-of-the-net type of guy, but he will surely break ankles with his between-the-legs gates. He is a Left winger who loves scoring off the rush and finishes with high-flying goals. With his remarkable consistency and interesting personality, he is one player that the league cherishes, and fans love him for that.
8. Victor Hedman, D, Lightning
Hedman is one of the most consistently dominant defensemen in the NHL. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion and subsequently won a Conn Smythe and a Norris Trophy. Standing at 6 foot 7, he has been the top defenceman for the Lightning over the past decade. Some of the skills that make him a unique piece include his defensive prowess, and offensive instincts, providing quality minutes once he is in play while simultaneously being an amazing leader.
7. Sidney Crosby, C, Penguins
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Crosby is an amazing hockey centre and captain for the Penguins. He goes head-on-head with Jaromir Jagr as the hardest player to knock off the puck, thanks to his centre of gravity and low body strength. He is one of the complete players and is a future NHL Hall of Famer. He might not be racking in awards as he was during his prime, but Crosby is still putting in impressive numbers as he grows to be among the best.
6. Nikita Kucherov, RW, Lightning
Nikita has earned his spot as one of the best thanks to his skills, stats and awards e has earned throughout his amazingly successful career. With two Stanley Cups, a Hart Trophy, a Ted Lindsay and an Art Ross, he has solidified himself as one of the complete right-wingers in the game's history. With his unselfish play, he is also one of the league's best passers while still putting on incredible numbers.
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5. Leon Draisaitl, C, Oilers
Leon is undoubtedly the best German hockey player of all time. He has been with the Oilers since he was drafted in 2014 and has grown to be a menace on the hockey pitch. During the start of his career, he was nicknamed 'The German Gretzky' thanks to his prowess in the game and has indeed grown to the expectations. He is so good that he can still be a top-line centre on any other team in the league as he pursues his journey to the top.
4. Cale Makar, D, Avalanche
At 24 years of age as of January 2023, Cale Makar is an incredible player who has earned multiple awards in his 4-year career with the Colorado Avalanche. He is a Stanley Cup champion, a Conn Smythe winner, a Norris recipient and a Calder winner. His ability to defend well and his amazing skating capability makes him an elite player in all three zones of the ice, which is different from other defensemen.
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3. Nathan MacKinnon, C, Avalanche
Nathan MacKinnon has solidified his name as one of the NHL's greatest players thanks to his successful career with the Colorado Avalanche. With an amazing roster surrounding him, this does not shadow his incredible abilities, as he still is the face of the league. Being an offensive titan, he combines his high IQ, slick hands and sneaky shots to create amazing shots and build up fantastic statistics that have made him who he is.
2. Auston Matthews, C, Maple Leafs
Auston Martin has been known to be one of the best scorers in the league. No player has scored more goals than Matthews since he entered it, and he has registered the best adjusted-goal-scoring seasons by a Leaf in modern history. One thing that makes him who he is is how he deploys his energy and enthusiasm responsibly, one of the league's best attack mentalities ever seen. As he continues his quest to become the greatest of all time, most are yet to be seen from the great.
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1. Connor McDavid, C, Oilers
The Edmonton Oilers centre, Connor McDavid, is on the top of the list. In 2021-22, he was the league's regular season top scorer with 123 points, eight more than the runner-up. What makes him a great player is the strength, speed, skill and work ethic he displays on the field. Also, his leadership qualities make him bring the team together and make it better. As he continues his career, he will become one of the league's greatest players.
Best hockey players of all time
The NHL has one of the best hockey players in the world. Some players currently have the potential to be among the best hockey player the world has ever had. However, some veterans have to get honourable recognitions as they rocked the league decades ago. Some of the best hockey players are Mark Messier, Bobby Clarke, Stan Mikita, Jari Kurri and Wayne Gretzky.
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Best hockey players of the 2000s
The 2000s was when hockey as a game was coming up and gaining popularity worldwide. At this time, the top league, NHL, hoisted some of the best players to exist as they played a major role in popularising the sport. Some of the top players at the time were Joe Thornton, Martin Brodeur, Pavel Datsyuk, Jarome Iginla and Nicklas Lidstrom.
Who is the best hockey player in 2023?
McDavid is undoubtedly the best player in the 2022-23 campaign. He is a highlight reel with amazing quickness and vision as he continues to push his limits in the scoring department. He has scored more than 100 points in five of his seven seasons which he would have hit in all seasons had it not been for injuries in his rookie season.
Who is the king of hockey?
Major Dhyan Chad was a field hockey player in India who played internationally from 1926 to 1949. He was regarded as 'The Wizard' or 'The Magician' of hockey for his out-of-the-world ball control. According to his autobiography, Goal, he scored 570 goals in 185 games and over 1000 goals in his entire domestic and international career.
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Coming into the season, players have been great, and there has been the emergence of great talents. The ranked list of the best hockey players currently above clearly shows how competitive the league is, with amazing talents going head to head. More is to be seen as the season continues as players continue to work and go for the championship.
READ ALSO: NBA Eastern Conference divisions and the teams in each division
Sports Brief recently posted an article on the NBA Eastern Conference divisions and the teams in each division. The Eastern Conference is divided into three divisions with five teams each, summing up 15. Learn the divisions available and all teams competing at this level. Check out the link above for more info.
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Who is the best hockey player currently? ›
The general consensus is that the NHL is Connor McDavid's league and everyone else is just playing in it. After what the Oilers captain did during the truncated 2021 season, it's easy to see why.Who wore 15 in hockey? ›
15, include Bill Harris (1972-73 through 1978-79), Brad Dalgarno (1985-86 through 1995-96), Bryan Smolinski (1996-97 through 1998-99), Jason Dawe (1997-98 through 1998-99), Tom Chorske (1997-98 through 1998-99), Ted Donato (1998-99 and 2001-02), Brad Isbister (1999-00 through 2002-03) and Jeff Tambellini (2005-06 ...Who are the best players in ice hockey? ›
The best ice hockey player in the world right now is Connor McDavid. He is currently ranked #4 on the NHL's all-time list of points-per-game leaders–only behind Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, and Mike Bossy.Who are the top five best NHL players? ›
- Alex Ovechkin, F, Washington Capitals.
- Aleksander Barkov, C, Florida Panthers.
- Victor Hedman, D, Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Sidney Crosby, C, Pittsburgh Penguins.
- Andrei Vasilevskiy, G, Tampa Bay Lightning.
- Leon Draisaitl, C, Edmonton Oilers.
- Nathan MacKinnon, C, Colorado Avalanche.
- Mitch Marner, Maple Leafs. Mark Blinch / National Hockey League / Getty. ...
- Nikita Kucherov, Lightning. ...
- Kirill Kaprizov, Wild. ...
- Igor Shesterkin, Rangers. ...
- Nathan MacKinnon, Avalanche. ...
- Matthew Tkachuk, Flames/Panthers. ...
- Leon Draisaitl, Oilers. ...
- Auston Matthews, Maple Leafs.
Fun fact: Desjardins and forward Melvin Angelstad (two games with the Washington Capitals in 2003-04) are the only players in NHL history to wear No. 69.What does 15o mean in hockey? ›
Pee Wee: Age 11-12. Bantam: Age 13-14. Midget: Age 15-17. Juvenile: Age 18-19.Is NHL 15 a good game? ›
Overall Score: 9.2Pros: Puck and player physics seem real, controls make sense, improved crowds and commentary add to the fun. Cons: Some game modes from NHL 14 aren't available for PS4 and Xbox One on NHL 15. Here's a list of some of the missing features and modes.Who is the favorite in NHL? ›
The Boston Bruins are the favorite to win the NHL Finals with +550 odds to repeat as Stanley Cup Champions.
Who is the best player in the world? ›
- Luka Modric (Real Madrid) ...
- Robert Lewandowski (Barcelona) ...
- Harry Kane (Tottenham) ...
- Erling Haaland (Man City) ...
- Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) ...
- Kevin De Bruyne (Man City) ...
- Kylian Mbappé (PSG) ...
- Lionel Messi (PSG)
Herb Carnegie is often called the best player who never played in the NHL. He made history when he played in a semi-professional league in the late 1940s on a line with his brother Ossie and Manny McIntyre — the first time three Black teammates had ever played on the same line.Who is the best hockey player in the world 2023? ›
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid ranked first overall in ESPN's 2023 NHL positional ranking for centers, which was compiled through 20 surveys that represented those on the ice and behind the scenes.Who is the top NHL rookie? ›
- Jake Sanderson, Ottawa Senators. ...
- Jack Quinn, Buffalo Sabres. ...
- Stuart Skinner, Edmonton Oilers. ...
- Shane Pinto, Ottawa Senators. ...
- Fabian Zetterlund, New Jersey Devils. ...
- Matias Maccelli, Arizona Coyotes. ...
- Kent Johnson, Columbus Blue Jackets.
Who is the tallest player in NHL history? Chara takes the title of tallest player in league history. Nobody has eclipsed his 6-foot-9 stature, at least without the help of skates. There are a handful of players who have gotten close to Chara.Who has best ice in NHL? ›
Which NHL arena has the best ice? Bell Centre continued its reputation for having the best ice surface in the NHL, with a margin of nearly 26% separating it from Rogers Place in the second spot. This marks the fourth time Bell Centre has earned the nod.Who is the king of hockey game? ›
Dhyan Chand, (born August 29, 1905, Allahabad, India—died December 3, 1979, Delhi), Indian field hockey player who was considered to be one of the greatest players of all time.Who is the goat Hockey player? ›
Beginning with the 1996-97 season, the NHL decreed that Nos. 0 and 00 could no longer be worn since they confused the League's digital database; today, only No. 1 through No. 98 are allowed, No.Is 1 star or 3 star better NHL? ›
The three stars (French: trois étoiles) in ice hockey are the three best players in a game as chosen by a third party, with the first star considered the best of the three players, akin to the player of the match in other sports.
Which country is hockey popular? ›
It is the most popular sport in Canada, Finland, Latvia, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Ice hockey is the national sport of Latvia and the national winter sport of Canada.
Wayne Gretzky's No. 99 is retired throughout the NHL not only because he is considered the greatest player in League history, but because the number and his name are synonymous. Though there is no debate over who the best player to wear that number is, there are 98 other numbers with more than one worthy candidate.Why is number 32 retired in the NHL? ›
The Seattle Kraken hadn't even played their first home game before they retired a number. The NHL's newest franchise honored their fans - and their place in the League - by raising number 32 to the rafters of Climate Pledge Arena before their first-ever home game against the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday.What NHL numbers are never worn? ›
80, 84 and 94 are the three numbers not worn by any player that would be available. 85, 87, 96 and 97 are each worn by one player, but it is unlikely any player will request 87. In a few years it seems like 97 will be off the table as well.What does BB mean in hockey? ›
BB (Formerly MD) hockey is first level of Competitive hockey and is available to U8/Minor Novice to U18/Midget players. For U8, there is only 1 level of MD hockey. For U9, we field MD1 (Tier 1) and MD2 (Tier 2) teams. BB/MD is the highest level at U8 and 9.What level is after AAA hockey? ›
|Squirt||9–10||Levels AAA, AA, A, B, C|
|Peewee||11–12||Levels AAA, AA, A, B, C|
|Bantam||13–14||Levels AAA, AA, A, B, C|
It takes hard work, a positive attitude and total commitment to be a AAA hockey player. Competing at an elite level in hockey is not easy! It takes a total commitment on your part and support from your family too.Is NHL 22 fun game? ›
NHL 22 feels like a game worth picking up for avid fans of the franchise looking for the most authentic-feeling game to date. While the game isn't groundbreaking in any way, it certainly provides an updated feel that should make for an overall positive experience when playing the game.Do NHL players fight for fun? ›
Allowing fighting makes the sport safer overall by holding players accountable. Fighting draws fans and increases the game's entertainment value. Fighting is a hockey tradition that exists in the official rules and as an unwritten code among players.Who is favored to win Stanley Cup 2023? ›
Current Stanley Cup 2023 Favorites
Boston Bruins (+400) Colorado Avalanche (+750) Carolina Hurricanes (+750) Toronto Maple Leafs (+900)
Which NHL team has the best fans? ›
Ice hockey is immensely popular in Canada, where it is the national winter sport and arguably the country's most popular game. Hockey is also popular in the United States and in European countries such as Russia, Sweden, and Finland.Who is the top 10 best players in the world? ›
- Lionel Messi (Argentina) © Reuters.
- Pele (Brazil) © Reuters. ...
- Diego Maradona (Argentina) © Reuters. ...
- Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) © Reuters. ...
- Zinedine Zidane (France) © Reuters. ...
- Johan Cruyff (Netherlands) © Reuters. ...
- Franz Beckenbauer (West Germany) © Reuters. ...
- Alfredo di Stefano (Argentina) ...
The GOAT basically means 'The Greatest of All Time,' and it has been used for several decades by the United States press. Legendary boxer Mohamed Ali, basketball player Michael Jordan, and golfer Tiger Woods, were all also referred to as the GOATs back in the day.Who is the best 7 player? ›
- Cristiano Ronaldo. Ranking the top three favourites to become the next Tottenham manager.
- David Beckham.
- Robert Pires. Ex-Arsenal No. ...
- George Best. ...
- Andriy Shevchenko. ...
- Eric Cantona. ...
- Raul Gonzalez. ...
Billy Coutu was the first, and to date only, player banned from the NHL for life for violence in 1927; he assaulted referee Jerry Laflamme and tackled referee Billy Bell before starting a bench-clearing brawl during a Stanley Cup game between the Boston Bruins and Ottawa Senators, apparently on the orders of Bruins ...Do all NHL players fight? ›
In most other sports, there are serious consequences for fighting. However, in hockey, fighting is part of "The Code." Fighting has been an officially accepted part of hockey at the professional level for almost a century. Rule 46 in the NHL rule book allows referees to determine appropriate penalties after a fight.What is NHL best ball? ›
What is NHL Playoffs Best Ball? It's simple. A league is comprised of six teams in a 12-round snake draft with a 30-second pick clock. You draft a team of 12 players, but only six of those players are in your final lineup: one center, one winger, one defenseman, one goalie, and two flex spots.Who is the all time scoring leader in hockey? ›
Gretzky has scored the most goals in NHL history.Who is the oldest rookie in NHL history? ›
On Oct. 11, 1969, at the age of 34, Barlow made his NHL debut as a member of the Minnesota North Stars; becoming the oldest rookie to play a game in NHL history (to be eclipsed three years later, by 38-year-old Connie Madigan which will soon be taken by Tommy 'The Falcon' Frew).
Who beat Crosby for rookie of the year? ›
Alex Ovechkin – Washington Capitals – 2005-06
Ovechkin racked up 52 goals and 106 points on the year, narrowly edging out Sidney Crosby's 102 points for the rookie lead.
The 1976-77 Montreal Canadiens are considered the best team in modern NHL history. They played 80 games that season and only lost eight of them while outscoring opponents 387-171. Montreal scored more goals than any other team in the league while giving up fewer tallies than any other club.Who is the fastest NHL player? ›
The best player in the NHL right now is also the fastest. Connor McDavid's ability to breeze by defenders while maintaining control of the puck and finding teammates is unmatched. There is no one like him in today's NHL.
Dallas Stars, American professional ice hockey team based in Dallas that plays in the Western Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The franchise has appeared in the Stanley Cup finals five times (1981, 1991, 1999, 2000, and 2020) and has won one championship (1999).Who has the best NHL team? ›
NHL Power Rankings 2022-23.
|STANLEY CUP ODDS||+500|
Wayne Gretzky. Who else but the player who, over the course of a 20-year NHL career, scored the most goals, assists and points in league history? At the time Gretzky retired, he held 61 NHL records and most still stand today. Gretzky's place atop the charts hardly seems debatable, so we're not going to debate it.Who is better Crosby or Ovechkin? ›
Sidney Crosby vs Alexander Ovechkin: Regular season stats
As expected, Ovechkin has the lead in goals by a large margin. He's scored 265 more goals than his counterpart, however, Crosby owns 265 more assists. What gives Crosby the edge is he's kept up with Ovechkin despite playing less than 150 games than him.
At the time of this post in April 2022, McDavid has played seven seasons in the NHL so far. In Gretzky's first seven seasons, he scored 481 goals. On the other hand, McDavid scored "only" 232 goals in the same amount of time.Who is the best player in the NHL 2023? ›
Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid ranked first overall in ESPN's 2023 NHL positional ranking for centers, which was compiled through 20 surveys that represented those on the ice and behind the scenes.Who shot instead of Gretzky? ›
The Great One, benched. Head coach Marc Crawford decided to leave Wayne Gretzky on the bench for the shootout, choosing instead to afford the famously accurate Ray Bourque an opportunity to pick a corner for the win. The Great One's reaction pretty much sums up how all of Canada felt after the game was decided.
Who is the goat of hockey? ›
|Wayne Gretzky CC|
|Played for||Indianapolis Racers Edmonton Oilers Los Angeles Kings St. Louis Blues New York Rangers|
|Coached for||Phoenix Coyotes|
They are Nicklas Lidstrom (16), Adam Oates (17), and Mark Messier (18). Joe Sakic (16), Mark Messier (14), and Ray Bourque (13) have passed Gretzky's record (12) for most All-Star game assists.
In terms of numbers, Sidney Crosby is in a league of his own. Compared to the Penguins' captain, McDavid has played in 620 fewer games and is yet to lift the Stanley Cup. Connor McDavid is only 26 years old and is also nine years younger than Crosby.Is Crosby better than Lemieux? ›
By the end of each age-27 season, Lemieux had 321 more points than Crosby at the same point of his career (1,174-853). Even by the end of age-31, the gap was 278 in Mario's favor (1,494-1,216). However, this was the turning point, since Lemieux was retired from 1997-2000, sitting out his age 31-34 seasons.Who is the losingest team in NHL history? ›
The Maple Leafs lead all NHL franchises in losses (2,850). The Vegas Golden Knights have the highest point percentage among active NHL teams (. 622), while the Seattle Kraken have recorded the lowest point percentage (. 366).Is Mario Lemieux better than Gretzky? ›
Gretzky is widely regarded as the greatest player in NHL history and holds nearly every possible offensive record. Lemieux has the second-highest points-per-game rate in history and appeared in less than 1,000 games but remains one of the best to ever play.Will Ovechkin pass Gretzky? ›
Next season Ovechkin will be 38 years old but if he has at least 40 goals he'll be within strike distance of Gretzky in the 2024-25 season. A 40 goal season would require just 24 goals to catch the great one and if he stays hot it could come in midseason around he holidays of 2024 or a little after.Who is most likely to win the Stanley Cup 2023? ›
- Boston Bruins (+460)
- Colorado Avalanche (+600)
- Carolina Hurricanes (+700)
- Toronto Maple Leafs (+950)
- New York Rangers (+1060)
BetMGM Sportsbook has had Seattle Kraken rookie Matty Beniers being the favorite to win the NHL's Calder Trophy since the start.