Top 15 BIG Players in NHL History

When I was growing up playing hockey in Canada, there came a certain point where players start talking amongst themselves about the next level. Whether the next level was Junior, Major Junior, or if things really starting getting out of hand, Pro.

Back then (15 years ago), a player’s size was always part of the conversation. I’m sure it still is, but with an emphasis on speed and skill, hockey players don’t have to big and huge just to get a look. It used to be scouts and coaches wanted nothing to do with you if you weren’t of a certain height or a certain weight. A player’s size was a deal breaker.

The saying was, “You can teach a big how to skate, but you can’t teach a little guy how to grow.” In the last 25 years or so, NHLers have gotten way bigger. Granted, some of those big players don’t necessarily have the skills to go along with their size (Hey, John Scott), there are some guys who made an impact at the NHL level, and it wasn’t always just because of their size. Although, I’m sure being freaking huge did help.

Here are the top 15 BIG NHL players of all-time.

15 Andy Sutton (6’6, 245)


14 Brian Boyle (6’7, 244)

James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

13 Georges Laraque (6’3, 253)


12 Hal Gill (6’7, 243)

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

11 Uwe Krupp (6’6, 235)


10 Nik Antropov (6’6, 245)


9 Dustin Penner (6’4, 242)

Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

8 Pavel Kubina (6’4, 258)


7 Al Iafrate (6’3, 235)


6 Todd Bertuzzi (6’3, 229)

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

5 Dustin Byfuglien (6’5, 265)

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

4 Keith Tkachuk (6’2, 235)

3 Eric Lindros (6’4, 240)


2 Zdeno Chara (6’9, 255)

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

1 Alex Ovechkin (6’3, 230)

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Relative to this list, Ovechkin isn’t that big, but relative to others in the NHL, he’s heavy player. He’s listed at 6 foot 3 and 230 pounds, which really makes him just a bit smaller than Iafrate, Lindros and Penner. In 2011, he had to address the size of his stomach following a web interview, in which he looked like he had put on a lot of weight. Let’s be real though, Ovechkin would still be one of the world’s best players even if he wasn’t so big… but his size definitely helps.

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Top 15 BIG Players in NHL History