NHL Goals Leaders

NHL Top Scorers All Time: Any attacking NHL hockey player dreams of being on the 500+ list. But this is not easy to do since almost everyone ends their career before reaching the milestone of 500 personally scored goals in the regular season.

NHL Top Scorers All Time

The first hockey player to do this was the Canadian Maurice “Rocket” Richard, who scored his 500th goal in October 1957. There are 45 people on this list; we present the top ten.

10. Mario Lemieux

Mario Lemieux

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: “Supermario” (SuperMario), “Magnificent” (Le Magnifique), “Ace” (Ace)
  • Year of birth: 1965
  • Achievement: 690 goals in 915 NHL regular season games

He was the almost permanent captain of the Pittsburgh Penguins, for whom he began playing in 1984. In 1997, due to an injury, he announced his retirement; in 1999, he became president of his former team, and in 2000 he decided to return to big hockey and played again for Pittsburgh for another 6 years.

Mario is one of the few who can boast of winning the Stanley Cup both as a player (in 1991 and 1992) and as a club owner (Pittsburgh triumphed in 2009, 2016, and 2017).

9. Steve Yzerman

Steve Yzerman

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: The Captain, Stevie Wonder, Stevie Y
  • Year of birth: 1965
  • Achievement: 692 goals in 1514 NHL games

This is how a rookie had to prove himself in just 3 seasons to be elected captain of the Detroit Red Wings NHL club at the age of 21 in 1986 and remain so for the next 17 seasons?!

It seems unrealistic, but the fact remains. After ending his career as a hockey player in 2003, Yzerman did not leave hockey – at first, he worked as vice president of his native team for 7 years, and in 2010 he moved to managerial work at the Tampa Bay Lightning.

8. Mark Messier

 Mark Messier

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: “Messiah”
  • Year of birth: 1961
  • Achievement: 694 goals in 1756 games

Messier was only a little short of playing in the largest number of games in the NHL – due to the 2004 lockout, he lost his playing rhythm and was forced to end his career a little earlier than planned. For 25 years, Mark shone on the ice arena, and 15 All-Star matches played are a vivid confirmation of this.

He was an “indispensable” player with excellent starting speed when playing in incomplete teams – his 63-shorthanded goals are second in the NHL in this indicator. Messier played almost half his career with the Edmonton Oilers from 1979 to 1991. Then there were performances for the New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks, and for the last 4 seasons (from 2000 to 2004), he played for the Rangers.

7. Mike Gartner

Mike Gartner

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: 
  • Year of birth: 1959
  • Achievement: 708 goals in 1432 games

At the end of the 20th century, the popular magazine The Hockey News published a list of the 100 best NHL hockey players in the history of the league – Mike Gartner was 89th on this list. He began his professional career in 1979 and played his first 10 seasons with the Washington Capitals. He scored 708 goals in 19 NHL regular seasons.

6. Phil Esposito

Phil Esposito

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: “Pro”
  • Year of birth: 1942
  • Achievement: 716 goals in 1282 matches

He started playing in the NHL in 1963. After playing 3 years in the Chicago Blackhawks, he moved to the Boston Bruins, playing for 8 seasons (1967-1975) and scoring the lion’s share of his goals. As an assessment of his services to the Boston Bruins, the fact that in 1987 the club’s management no longer handed the uniform with the number 7, under which Phil played, can serve as a reference. This number is forever assigned to Esposito. And this even though Esposito ended his career not in Boston – the last 6 seasons (from 1975 to 1981), he played for the New York Rangers.

Why and How Did Hockey Become So Popular in Canada?

Despite the Iron Curtain, Esposito is well known to Soviet fans – he was the most productive among overseas hockey players during the famous Canada-USSR Super Series in 1972.

5. Marcel Dionne

 Marcel Dionne

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: “Beaver”
  • Year of birth: 1951
  • Achievement: 731 goals in 1348 games

Even though he never managed to lift the Stanley Cup over his head, Dioni deserves his place in the NHL Hall of Fame. His goalscoring talent was revealed from the first games for the Detroit Red Wings (for which he played from 1971 to 1975).

His genius did not fade even after the transition in 1975 to the then-average Los Angeles Kings, for which he played 12 seasons (from 1975 to 1987). Ended his career with the New York Rangers (1987-1989). For 18 seasons in the NHL, he not only scored 731 goals in the regular season but also actively participated as an assistant in another 1040 goals for his teams.

4. Brett Hull

 Brett Hull

  • Citizenship: Canada, USA
  • Nickname: Golden Brett
  • Year of birth: 1964
  • Achievement: 741 goals in 1269 NHL games

He began his NHL career in 1986 as a Canadian forward for the Calgary Flames. Still, shortly after moving to the St. Louis Blues in 1988 (where he played for the next 10 seasons), he became an American citizen and subsequently played for the US national team. He retired in 2005 as a player for the Phoenix Coyotes. One of the few who scored in 50 games in a row.

3. Jaromir Jagr

Jaromir Jagr

  • Citizenship: Czech Republic
  • Nickname: “Yardo”
  • Year of birth: 1972
  • Achievement: 766 goals in 1718 NHL games

To date, he is the only one of the Top 10 who has a real opportunity to improve his scorer performance because, despite his rather mature age (45), he has not yet finished his career as a hockey player. Jaromir has been in the NHL since 1990.

2. Gordon Howe

Gordon Howe

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: “Mr. Hockey,” “Mr. Elbows”
  • Years of life: 1928 – 2016
  • Achievement: 801 goals in 1767 NHL games

34 seasons for one team (from 1947 to 1971) – if a player is not released for so long, he is worth it! In addition, this fact speaks of the hockey player’s incredible devotion to his club and fans – they probably tried to lure him more than once with more favorable conditions, but he remained faithful to his native team.

1. Wayne Douglas Gretzky

Wayne Douglas Gretzky

  • Citizenship: Canada
  • Nickname: The Great One
  • Year of birth: 1961
  • Achievement: 894 goals in 1487 NHL regular season games

Just the fact itself, 894 goals in the NHL regular championships, is enough to agree with the authoritative The Hockey News magazine, which back in 1998 forever secured the title of “The Greatest Player in the History of Hockey” for Gretzky – it is unlikely that shortly there will be a hockey player who will succeed surpass Wayne.

During the 21 years of his professional career, which he began in 1978 with the Edmonton Oilers, he set many different records. He is the only one who managed to earn 200 points in a season on the “goal + pass” system, and he did it 4 times – in the 1981-82 season (212 points), and then 3 seasons in a row from 1983 to 1986 (respectively 205, 208 and 215 points).

Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports and Surprise Movies.


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