NHL all-time goals leaders: Who are the top scorers in hockey history?


There are plenty of NHL records set by the great Wayne Gretzky that will never get touched. But in terms of his record for career goals, there’s a particularly skilled Russian who could very well break that milestone. 


Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin currently sits second all time in career goals scored. Given the fact that he has shown no signs of slowing down, there is a real chance that Ovechkin could eventually take over the top spot on the all-time goals list.

Here’s a look at the NHL’s top career goal-scorers. 

Who are the top 10 goal scorers in NHL history?

After reaching the 800-goal milestone with a hat trick against the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 13 and scoring two against the Winnipeg Jets on Dec. 23, Ovechkin is now the sole holder of the No. 2 spot. The Caps star is now behind only Gretzky.

Here is how the top 10 of the all-time scoring list looks:

  1. Wayne Gretzky -- 894
  2. Alex Ovechkin -- 802
  3. Gordie Howe -- 801
  4. Jaromir Jagr – 766
  5. Brett Hull -- 741
  6. Marcel Dionne -- 731
  7. Phil Esposito -- 717
  8. Mike Gartner -- 708
  9. Mark Messier -- 694
  10. Steve Yzerman -- 692

Who has scored the most goals in hockey history?

Gretzky has scored the most goals in NHL history. During his 20 years on the ice, Gretzky finished with a career total of 894 goals and 2,857 points.

Which active NHL player has the most goals?

Ovechkin currently has the most career goals among active players. In the 2021-22 season, he tallied 50 goals to jump from No. 6 to No. 3 on the all-time list with 780. He's up to 20 goals through 31 games played in 2022-23.

Among active players, Ovechkin is followed by Sidney Crosby with 534 career goals.

Can Ovechkin break Gretzky’s goal record?

Ovechkin, who turned 37 in September, is 94 goals behind Gretzky.

Given that he has averaged roughly 0.61 goals per game in his career, it would take about 154 games for Ovechkin to pass Gretzky if he continues on that pace. So if Ovechkin, who is under contract with Washington for three more seasons beyond this one, stays healthy, we could see him break Gretzky's record in 2024-25.

Bryan Murphy contributed to this story. 

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