Over the course of the history of the NHL, there have been numerous incredible scorers who were able to record an unbelievable amount of goals, some in a shorter period of time than others.
Here is my list of the top ten scorers of all-time.
10. Marcel Dionne:
Marcel “Little Beaver” Dionne was able to score 731 goals in 1,348 games played.
An eight time All-Star, Dionne was only able to win the Art Ross Trophy for most points once.
With no Stanley Cups or other scoring awards, it is hard to put Dionne above anyone else. However, his ability to score 731 goals playing on a mediocre Kings team earns him this spot.
9. Steve Yzerman:
Steve Yzerman scored a total of 692 goals in 1,514 games played.
Add to this ten All-Star games, a Conn Smythe Trophy, and three Stanley Cups with the Red Wings.
Interestingly enough, Yzerman was the first 18 year old to be added to the All-Star roster in 1984.
8. Mark Messier:
Fifteen time All-Star Mark Messier scored a total 694 goals in a span of 1,756 games played.
This, I feel, is his biggest drawback.
The fact that he played 1,756 games and scored 694 goals puts him at eight due to the fact that other players were able to match his goals in sometimes upwards of 400 games less played.
However, Messier did win a total of six Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe, and two Hart Memorial Trophies.
7. Joe Sakic:
Joe Sakic played a total of 1,378 games, scoring 625 goals.
Although Sakic’s resume may not be as filled as Messier’s, as a scorer, Sakic has earned his place on this list.
Playing in almost 400 games less than Messier, Sakic only trailed Messier by 69 goals.
Sakic was also able to Captain the Colorado Avalanche to two Stanley Cups, was awarded a Conn Smythe, a Hart Memorial Trophy, and played in 13 All-Star games.
Over the course of his career, Sakic had two 50 goal seasons and six 100 point seasons.
6. Jaromir Jagr:
Many people are going to say, “How can Jagr not be in the top five players for scoring?” Well, here’s why.
Jagr played a total of 1,733 games, scoring 766 goals, putting him third all-time for goals.
Winning two Stanley Cups, a Hart Memorial Trophy, five Art Ross’, and a thirteen time All-Star, how is he not in the top five?
There is no doubt Jagr is one of the greatest goal scorers of all-time, however his high number of games played, matched with the amount of goals he actually scored holds him back in my opinion.
Had he scored at the rate of players listed above him, it would have been scary how many goals he could have scored.
5. Mike Bossy:
In my opinion, Mike Bossy is one of the most highly underrated players in NHL history.
With his career significantly shortened due to back injuries, Bossy only played a total of 752 games, but was able to score a total of 573 goals.
Bossy led the league in goals twice, won four Stanley Cups in a row with the New York Islanders (the only player in NHL history to score back-to-back Stanley Cup winning goals), and won himself a Conn Smythe as well.
Mike Bossy also set the standard for Wayne Gretzky when he scored 50 goals in 50 games; although Gretzky would go on to take that record to another level.
Also impressive, Bossy played a total of ten seasons in the NHL, each resulting in a trip to the All-Star game.
Had Bossy not had to retire from back problems, his numbers could have been out of this world, as he has the highest goals per games played on this list.
4. Phil Esposito:
Ten time All-Star Phil Esposito scored a total of 717 goals in 1,282 games played.
Esposito won two Stanley Cups with the Boston Bruins, led the league in goals six times, won the Art Ross Trophy five times, and also won two Hart Memorial Trophies over the course of his career.
On top of that, Esposito had thirteen consecutive 30 goal seasons, and is tied with Jagr for all-time game-winning goals with 118.
3. Mario Lemieux:
Mario Lemieux is another player who scored an incredible amount of goals, but due to a battle with cancer and back injuries, his career was cut to just 915 games.
Lemieux was still able to score 690 goals, win three Rocket Richard Trophies, six Art Ross Trophies, three Hart Memorial Trophies, two Stanley Cups, and two Conn Smythe Trophies.
For a career of less than 1,000 games, Lemieux was still able to prove how great of a scorer he was, and in many peoples’ opinion, top Gretzky.
2. Gordie Howe:
Mr. Hockey played a total of 1,767 games, scoring a total of 801 goals.
Winning four Stanley Cups with the Red Wings, Howe led the league in goals five times, won the Hart Memorial and Art Ross Trophies each six times, and played in twenty-three All-Star games.
This was all done during a time where scoring in the league was certainly not at its highest.
For a player from this time period, along with his ability to score, hit, and fight, Gordie Howe without question belongs in this spot.
1. Wayne Gretzky:
This decision is not even debatable to me.
In 1,487 games played, The Great One scored a total of 894 goals.
Add to that five Rocket Richard Trophies, seven Hart Memorial Trophies, ten Art Ross Trophies, four Stanley Cups, and two Conn Smythe Trophies.
Gretzky had nine 50 goal seasons, including one where he scored 92 goals, which still a record to this day that I think will never be broken.
The twenty time All-Star also had four 200 point seasons, including one with 215 points, which is also a record that has not been broken.
To top it off, Gretzky took Bossy’s 50 goals in 50 games record, and scored 50 goals in 39 games.
Although one can argue Gretzky had a team full of future Hall of Famers with him in Edmonton, no one can argue that Gretzky’s accomplishments statistically cannot be matched by anyone else on this list.
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Marcel Dionne Kings: www.thenhl.wikia.com
Steve Yzerman Stanley Cup: www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca
Red Wings Goal: www2.ljworld.com
Mark Messier: www.edmontonjournal.com
Joe Sakic Stanley Cup: www.ebay.com
Joe Sakic: www.hhof.com
Jaromir Jagr: www.pinterest.com
Mike Bossy Stanley Cup: www.siphotos.tumblr.com
Mike Bossy Goal: www.pinterest.com
Phil Esposito: www.NHL.com
Mario Lemieux Shooting: www.timetoast.com
Mario Lemieux Goal: www.youtube.com
Gordie Howe: www.britannica.com
Gretzky Goal: www.hockeygods.com