- Wayne Gretzky is the all-time points leader in the NHL, with a total of 2857 points.
- All but one of the top 10 all-time points leaders in the NHL are Canadian.
- All but one of the top 10 all-time points leaders in the NHL won the Stanley Cup at least twice.
Winning hockey games means scoring more goals than your opponents. Throughout the history of the National Hockey League (NHL), there have been a handful of players that excelled at putting points on the board, whether scoring goals or racking up the very important assists that lead to goals. These were legendary hockey players, whose ability to put the puck in the net, or help their teammates put the puck in the net, will never be forgotten. Here are some of the NHL’s all-time points leaders.
10. Phil Esposito
Nicknamed, “Mr. Slot”, for his uncanny ability to score goals from the space in between the two face-off circles in front of the opposing team’s net, Esposito scored 50 goals or more in five straight seasons, and 40 goals or more in seven straight seasons, while playing for the Boston Bruins. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Bruins twice. Esposito would finish his illustrious career with a total of 1590 points, including 717 goals and 873 assists.
9. Joe Sakic
A native of British Columbia, Sakic garnered a total of 1641 career points, with 625 goals and 1016 assists. He spent his entire career playing for what used to be the Quebec Nordiques and later became the Colorado Avalanche, winning two Stanley Cups in the 1995-96 and 2000-01 seasons. In the former season, he also won the Conn Smythe trophy as the playoff MVP. In the latter, he won the Hart Trophy as the player most valuable to his team.
8. Mario Lemieux
Lemieux began his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1984-85 season, and finished the season as the recipient of the Calder Trophy, given each year to the NHL’s top rookie. During his career he won the Art Ross Trophy, as the league leader in points, six times. When he finally hung up his skates for good, Lemieux had won the Stanley Cup twice and racked up a total of 1723 points, including 690 goals and 1033 assists.
7. Steve Yzerman
Playing his entire career with the Detroit Redwings, Yzerman had a career 1755 points, with 692 of them being goals. He would go on to captain the team to three Stanley Cup wins. In addition to being a great goal-scorer, Yzerman excelled on defense, and once won the Frank Selke award for the league’s best defensive forward. He was also the recipient of the Conn Smyth Trophy in the 1997-98 season.
6. Marcel Dionne
Dionne has the unfortunate distinction of being the only player on this list to have never won the Stanley Cup. Nevertheless, he had the makings of a champion. His career totals include 731 goals and 1040 assists, for a total 1771 points. Dionne began his career with the Detroit Redwings, then moved to the Los Angeles Kings, before finishing his career with the New York Rangers. In Los Angeles, he won the Art Ross Trophy in the 1979-80 season.
5. Ron Francis
Francis began his career with the Hartford Whalers in 1981. His best years, however, were in Pittsburgh, where he won the Stanley Cup twice in a row in the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons. He was known as one of the best passing centers in the league, and for his ability to play well on both ends of the ice. When Francis’ career ended, he had earned a total of 1798 points, including 549 goals and 1249 assists.
4. Gordie Howe
In addition to being one of the all-time NHL point leaders, Howe, aka, “Mr. Hockey”, had the longest professional hockey career in history. Most of it was spent with the Detroit Redwings, where the Saskatchewan native won four Stanley Cups. He also won both the Hart Trophy and the Art Ross Trophy six times. Howe had a unique quality among NHL players for being consistently good for most of his career. In fact, he was among the top five scorers in the league for twenty straight seasons. When Howe’s record-long career finally ended, he had a grand total of 1850 points, with 801 of those being goals.
3. Mark Messier
Messier had the honor and privilege of not only playing for his hometown’s team, the Edmonton Oilers, but also winning the Stanley Cup with the team five times. After his success in Edmonton, he moved to the New York Rangers and helped the team win the Stanley Cup for the first time in 54 years, in the 1993-94 season. And as if six Stanley Cups wasn’t enough, Messier was also a two-time Hart Trophy winner, and a two-time recipient of the Ted Lindsay Award as league MVP. He finished his career with a total of 1887 points, including 694 goals and 1193 assists.
2. Jaromir Jagr
Jagr is the only player of the top 10 all-time NHL point leaders who was not born in Canada. He is a native of the Czech Republic, who had a long and distinguished hockey career, in which he garnered a total of 1921 points, of which 766 were goals. Jagr played for several teams during his career, and won the Stanley Cup twice, both times with the Pittsburgh Penguins, alongside fellow all-time points leaders Mario Lemieux and Ron Francis. He also won the Art Ross Trophy five times.
1. Wayne Gretzky
Nicknamed, “The Great One”, Gretzky is regarded, to this day, as the greatest hockey player who ever lived. He still holds several NHL records, not least of which is as the league’s all-time leader in points, with a total of 2857, including 894 goals and 1963 assists. Gretzky also holds the records for the most goals in a season (92), and the most points in a season (215). His other accolades include nine Hart Trophies, ten Art Ross Trophies, five Ted Lindsay awards, two Conn Smythe Trophies, and four Stanley Cups. Upon his retirement, Gretzky’s iconic jersey number, 99, was retired league-wide.