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NHL: Highest points scorers in NHL history

Many players have produced jaw-dropping numbers in the NHL, but none in history have managed to produce so often on the scoreboard than the following five.

1. Wayne Gretzky (1979-1999)

Wayne Gretzky is nicknamed the 'The Great One' for good reason and tops the All-Time NHL points leader board with 2,857 in 1,487 regular season games for Edmonton Oilers, Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers.

With 894 goals and 1,963 assists, Gretzky leads all players in both categories, although he faces stiff competition for the goals record from Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, who is currently on 793 in 1,298 regular season games.

Gretzky won the Art Ross Trophy awarded to the top point scorer a record ten times and is the only player in history to score more than 200 points in a single season, something he managed an incredible four times.

He won the Stanley Cup four times and was named the Hart Memorial Trophy winner as the NHL's most valuable player nine times, the most of any player in history.

After retiring in 1999, Gretzky was immediately inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame and his number 99 jersey was retired league-wide, making him the only hockey player and one of only three players in professional sports history to receive such an honour.

2. Jaromir Jagr (1990-2018)

Drafted fifth overall by Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1990, Jaromir Jagr enjoyed a sensational NHL career posting 1,921 points (766 goals, 1,155 assists) in 1,733 regular season games.

The majority of his time was spent with the Penguins, Washington Capitals and New Rangers before he moved around several others teams in the final years of his time in the league, ending with the Calgary Flames in 2017/18.

When the Czech-born forward entered the NHL in 1990, Jagr was the youngest player in the league and in the season that he retired, quirkily he was the oldest at 45.

Jagr won the Art Ross Trophy five times, the Hart Memorial once and the Stanley Cup back-to-back with the Penguins in 1991 and 1992, all whilst a member of the Penguins - who are 25/1 to win the Stanley Cup next season.

3. Mark Messier (1979-2004)

Given the impact he made on the NHL, it's surprising that Mark Messier wasn't drafted until the third round and 48th overall in the 1979 draft by Edmonton Oilers.

In 1,756 regular season games the 6'2" centre amassed 1,887 points (694 goals, 1,193 assists) for the Oilers, New York Rangers (two stints) and Vancouver Canucks.

Messier played a pivotal role alongside Gretzky in the Oilers' dynasty years, winning five Stanley Cups with the organisation and one with the New York Rangers which ended a 54-year-drought for the franchise.

The long-time Captain of all three clubs that he played for, Messier won the Hart Memorial Trophy twice - in 1990 with the Oilers and 199 with the Rangers, who are 28/1 to win the Stanley Cup next season.

In 2007, the player nicknamed 'Messiah' was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, in his first year of eligibility.

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4. Gordie Howe (1946-1980)

Well known as 'Mr Hockey', Gordie Howe spent 32 seasons in the NHL from 1946-1980, with 25 of those with the Detroit Red Wings.

In 1,767 regular season games, how scored 1,850 points (801 goals, 1,049 assists) which were all records at the time of his retirement, later broken by Gretzky.

To this day when a player scores a goal, registers an assist and has a fight in a single game, Howe's name is spoken as the 'Gordie Howe Hat-trick'.

Howe was a 23-time All-Star, and only in 2021 was his all-time NHL games record of 1,767 beaten by Patrick Marleau.

Mr Hockey won six league MVP awards, six scoring titles and four Stanley Cup championships and was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1972, where a statue of him resides.

5. Ron Francis (1981-2004)

Current General Manager of the NHL's newest franchise Seattle Kraken, Ron Francis iced in 1,731 regular season games and hung up the skates to move into management with 1,798 points (549 goals, 1,249 assists).

The 6'3" centreman was drafted fourth overall in the 1981 draft by the Hartford Whalers (now Carolina Hurricanes) where stayed for almost ten years, setting nearly every offensive record in franchise history.

In 1991 he was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins, where during a seven-year stay he won the Stanley Cup twice.

Francis returned to his original organisation as a free agent in 1998/99, signing with the Carolina Hurricanes (who had moved from Hartford the previous season).

He spent the next five-and-a-half seasons padding his franchise record and still ranks first all-time in Whalers/Hurricanes history in points, goals, assists and games played.

Francis captained the Hurricanes to a surprise appearance in the 2002 Stanley Cup Finals, before finishing his career with a brief stint in Toronto with the Maple Leafs.

Active players

The highest active point scorers in NHL history are Sidney Crosby (17th) of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who has 1,440 in 1,131 regular season games (529 goals, 911 assists) and the aforementioned Ovechkin (18th), who has 1,433 (793 goals, 640 assists) in 1,298 games.

The pair have a few seasons left until they consider retirement and are almost certain to crack the top ten, catching the great five above remains a major stretch, however.

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