NHL: The Top 50 Most Skilled Players Since 1967

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NHL: The Top 50 Most Skilled Players Since 1967
Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Since the National Hockey League expanded to 12 teams in 1967, the game has blossomed into a sport that's more about finesse and skill, and less about simply outmuscling and intimidating the opposition.  With the addition of European talent in the 1980's and early 90's, the NHL became an even more skilled league as a whole.  The superstars of each of these eras were traditionally the most skilled players, as their superior skating and stickhandling abilities pushed them to the top of the sport. 

More recently, after the lockout in 2004-05, the league cracked down on obstruction and holding, allowing skill players to operate more freely.  These rule changes have ushered in an era in which a premium is placed on skill development, as the game's much more offensive than it was ten years ago.  For that reason, this list of the top 50 most skilled players since 1967 is weighted heavily to more recent players, simply because they generally possess higher levels of skill than players from previous generations.  

The skills measured here are basically pure skating ability, stickhandling, shooting, passing, and in some cases, hitting.  Some of the greatest players ever, like Mark Messier and Brett Hull won't be on this list, because the reason they were great was as much mental as it was having physical skills.  Each one of the players on this list has elite skills, and demonstrated them at the highest level.  With that being said, here are the top 50 most skilled players since 1967,

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