Over the years, the NHL has seen some absolutely incredibly forwards, and ranking them is an extremely hard process. But, we’ve taken on the challenge of attempting to place our top 10 most notable NHL forwards of all time down below.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that Maurice Richard is one of the most legendary figures in the history of the NHL, and was known for his highly prolific goal-scoring record, leading the league’s top goal scorers table five times throughout his time in the NHL, but only ever earnt one MVP award in his entire career. However, he solidified his position in NHL history, ending as a top-three finisher another five times in his career whilst also being a 13-time All-Star.
Between 1969 and 1975, there was only one man that led the league in goals scored: Phil Esposito. This 6-year span that saw him dominate the goal-scoring charts saw him score a total of 369 goals, which was 149 more than any other player in the NHL throughout this period. In fact, the gap that was between him and the second-placed goal scored was the same as the gap between the second-placed goal scored and the 100th-placed goal-scorer. Legendary.
Notorious forward Jean Beliveau was the embodiment of a champion, featuring as the centerpiece to 10 Stanley Cup winning teams during his time at the Montreal Canadiens, and is certainly rated by most fans as one of the most prolific forwards in NHL history, and certainly one of the best Canadiens of all time, which is what has earnt him the number eight spot on our list.
After finally winning a Stanley Cup, there is little than can be held against Alex Ovechkin or in his way of standing as one of the most prominent players in the NHL’s history. Having been one of the stars of the NHL for over 15 years now, seeing his name in this top 10 list should be absolutely no surprise. But if he ends up breaking Wayne Gretzky’s record, then there is no doubt his position in this list changes dramatically.
As a three-time Stanley Cup winner, with two MVP awards, as well as two scoring titles, and numerous other awards, we think it’s only fair that Sidney Crosby takes his place here in our top 10 list, the man has been a prolific star of the NHL for well over a decade now, so it is absolutely not too early or too risky to begin holding him in such high esteem.
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Condemned to the shadows of Mario Lemieux during his time in Pittsburgh, there is still very little doubt about the ability that Jaromir Jagr has. Whilst he is ranked incredibly highly in his productivity as a result of longevity, the numbers he managed to produce throughout the dead puck era, which is when he was in his prime, were incredibly admirable. There is no reason not to include Jagr in this list, and deserves to comfortably sit this high up.
Whilst highly regarded, we feel like Bossy’s positioning on these lists suffers as a result of the lack of longevity he had in the NHL and his recognition as a legend falters because of this too, which is why we’ve put him in at number 4 spot in our list.
Despite only spending a decade in the NHL, he’s first for goals per game and is comfortably in the top-five for points per game in the league. Plus, his goal tally for nine out of ten seasons for his career was ridiculous, scoring at least 50 goals a season, which likely would’ve continued into his final season too had he played more games.
There is a lot to be said about this man, statistically, it’s understandable why he has this spot on the list. Bet he is someone that goes far beyond comprehension, with his mythical style of play alongside a sheer dominance of the NHL, he is truly one of the most notable forwards of all time. Furthermore, this is a man that played in the NHL until he was 51 and STILL produced quality numbers, so it’s no wonder as to why he is heralded as one of the greatest to ever do it.
With Mario placed here, it’s pretty clear who is going to be number 1 on our list. However, it was certainly close, and whilst there are a lot of ifs and buts about what could’ve been for Mario Lemieux, a man who manages to save an organization twice as both player and owner and in accompaniment with his many, many achievements on and off the ice, he very deservedly comes in at the number 2 spot.
Forwards score goals, and that’s exactly what Wayne Gretzky did, his NHL record of 894 still stands to this day, and it doesn’t get more notable for a forward than that.
What do you think, do you agree with our top 10? Who would you change? Is there anyone we missed? Leave a comment and let us know!