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Boston Bruins’ 10 Best Players of All Time

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By: BNG Staff Writer | Follow Us On Twitter @BlackNGoldPod

The Boston Bruins is one of the most established teams in the NHL. With its extensive and decorated history, the Bruins have won six Stanley Cups, five Conference Championships, 26 Division Championships, and a host of other accolades.

Of course, the Bruins will not be the franchise that it is without its players that have undeniably shaped the team’s storied history. Boston has been home to great players across generations. These players have not just made an incredible impact to the Bruins but have also left remarkable legacies in the NHL itself.

These are the Bruins’ 10 best players of all time:

10. Tuukka Rask

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Although Tuukka Rask is now retired, he’s already proven himself as one of the best to play for Boston. The 34-year-old goaltender has the most games played by a goaltender in franchise history, and the most wins as well. Rask is a two-time All-Star who has made the NHL First All-Star Team once. He is also a part of the Bruins squad that won the 2011 Stanley Cup. With a save percentage of 0.921 – the best in the NHL’s salary cap era – Rask was always dependable and as safe as houses during a wonderfully consistent career. 

With US sportsbooks now offering prop bets on goalkeeper saves, amongst many other NHL betting offers, Rask would have been a very popular selection with Bruins bettors all through the season!

9. Brad Marchand

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Brad Marchand has been one of the highlights of the Bruins’ recent history. The 2006 71st overall draft pick exceeded expectations and has left his mark on Boston.

Marchand is a two-time All-Star who was part of the Bruins team that won the 2011 Stanley Cup. He holds the records for the most overtime goals, most regular season penalty shot goals, and most shorthanded goals in Bruins history. 

8. Milt Schmidt

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Milt Schmidt was known as the center of the Bruins’ “Kraut Line.” Although Schimdt’s career was interrupted by serving in World War II, he was still able to retire as one of the best to play in the NHL, finishing his career as fourth all-time in points and third all-time in assists in 1955.

Schmidt was named to four NHL All-Star Teams and has won two Stanley Cups as a player with Boston in 1939 and 1941. Schmidt was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1961 and was named one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in history in 2017.

7. Eddie Shore

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Eddie Shore is a four-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy, and holds the record for the most Hart Memorial Trophies by a defenseman.

Shore was instrumental in two Stanley Cup championship wins by Boston in 1929 and 1939. The eight-time All-Star was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1947 and was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1975.

6. Cam Neely

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Cam Neely developed into one of the best players in the NHL when he was traded to the Boston Bruins. Neely has scored at least 50 goals three times in his career, and his number was retired by the Bruins in 2004.

Neely is a four-time All-Star and is an awardee of the Masterton Trophy. Despite being forced to retire early due to injuries, Neely was able to turn in a spectacular career and was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2005.

5. Johnny Bucyk

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Johnny Bucyk is indisputably the greatest left-winger to ever play for the Boston Bruins. Bucyk played an astounding 21 straight seasons for Boston, winning two Stanley Cups with the team in the process.

Bucyk has the most goals and consecutive games played for the Bruins. The Hall of Fame left wing was also named in 2017 as one of the 100 Greatest NHL Players in History.

4. Patrice Bergeron

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Patrice Bergeron’s contributions to the Bruins are arguably unmatched in his generation. Bergeron has been incredibly consistent throughout his career and has proven to be a reliable weapon for Boston in clutch situations.

Bergeron was crucial in the 2011 Stanley Cup victory of the Bruins, where he scored two clutch playoff goals that brought the championship to Boston. Bergeron is a four-time Frank J. Selke Trophy winner, a record he holds with Bob Gainey, and has been nominated for the award a record 9 straight times. Bergeron also holds the record for the most playoff overtime goals in Bruins history.

3. Phil Esposito

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Phil Esposito was the Bruins’ center during what was perhaps the franchise’s best years.

Esposito is a two-time Hart Memorial Trophy Winner and has won the Stanley Cup twice with Boston. The Hall of Famer retired second all-time in goals and points and third all-time in assists. In the 1970s, he became the first player ever to score 1000 points in a decade.

2. Ray Bourque

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One of the best NHL defensemen of all time, Ray Bourque was drafted by the Bruins 8th overall in 1979, and played for the Bruins for 21 seasons.

Bourque won the Norris Trophy an astounding five times and is a 19-time All-Star who won the Stanley Cup once with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001. In 2004, Bourque was inducted to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

1. Bobby Orr

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Widely acknowledged as one of the greatest players to ever play in the NHL, there’s no denying that Bobby Orr is the greatest player in Bruins history.

Orr is a three-time winner of the Hart Memorial Trophy, winning the award three consecutive times from 1970 to 1972, and led the Bruins to Stanley Cup victories in 1970 and 1972. The Hall of Fame defenseman was ranked 31st in ESPN’s 50 Greatest Athletes of the 20th Century in recognition of his legacy.


  1. Buddy Aliff

    Your list is spot on. Lines up with mine, perfectly. Just for the record, my #11, is Tim Thomas. # 10, is actually a tie with Tuuk. They were both awesome. I love my Marshall University football, but my 2nd favorite sports team, is, and will always be the Boston Bruins. Seeing a live Bruins game is in my bucket list. GO B’s !!!!!

    • Timothy ODonohue

      Rask one of the top 10 of all time? I got 10 Bruins I would put ahead of him.
      Jerry Chevers, Ken Hodge, Wayne Cashman and Pie Mckenzie and Brad Park, Rick Middleton, Derek Sanderson, Jean Rattele, Giles Gilbert, Ted Green.

      • Paul Quin

        Great Analysis

      • Don Martin

        Have you watched any bruins hockey in the last 40 years??? Several of your hero’s played for the Bruins less the four years. I have been a life long Bruins fan dating back to the sixties and not one of your players names have had there numbers retired.

        • Zakary Wickman

          Bobby Orr has

        • Joanne Maria Mastropolo

          None of them had their numbers retired? WHAAAAT?!? Do you remember the famous night they retired Phil Esposito’s No. 7, which Ray Bourque was wearing…and Ray peeled the shirt off his back to surrender the No. 7 to Phil and REALLY retire it, and Ray started wearing No. 77.
          Number not retired? No. 9 for Johnny Bucyk???? No. 4??? Why don’t you look up to the rafters once in a while and see what is going on up there

          • Goaler6930

            Did you actually read the names that was put on that list. none of the players You mentioned with retired numbers?
            We’re quoted by that person.
            Period personally, I think Frankie Brimsek deserves to be in the top 10 before Tukka.
            Just because you did not see them play it should not keep them from the list

      • Scott Kendrick

        Great assessment! I would also put Zdeno Chara in there as well, but the Big bad Bruins were Awesome and they don’t get enough credit! They made hockey interesting and if it weren’t for the Canadians we’d probably have 5 more Stanley Cups as well as the Edmonton Oilers!

  2. John Lynch

    Saw bob y orr for 10 years absolute the best ever to play the

  3. Mario

    When #4’s went in, my beer hit the ceiling !

  4. Don Martin

    There is no question the Ray Bourque and Bobby Orr were among the greatest Boston Bruins of all time, unfortunately neither were career Bruins. Patrice Bergeron is at the top of that list and is the best two way player in Bruins history in my mind and is the leader of this team on and off the ice. No other player exemplifies the Bruins team dedication to Bruins hockey ever second he steps on the ice more then he has throughout his unmatched career with our team.

    • Richard

      Neither is Phil , chief, cam Neely. They played somewhere else either before or after. By your criteria I would add Terry O’Reilly.

      • Serge

        You put 5 Bobby Orr and 5 Gretzky . Orr would win easily 97 percent of the times. Orr played when they was only 6 teams in NHL. That’s when the 6 team had the best of the best. Gretzky played/32 teams , playing against fewer good players each team Orr-the best ever hockey player

      • Richard Sweeney

        Along with Eddie Shore, he played for Ny Americans in his last NHL season

    • Bea Higgins

      Bobby Orr was not a lifetime Bruins because the organization was greedy and coldhearted. Bobby Orr was ALWAYS a Bruin to me.

      • Jeffrey Mintz

        Actually, that’s incorrect. Many years later if was learned that Alan Eagleson never conveyed a partial ownership offer to Orr from the Bruins. Eagleson was the greedy one there.

      • Richard Sweeney

        It was not the Bruins that were. Greedy, they offered part ownership, but Eagleson never shared that part of information. He was a buddy of Wirtz and was cutting himself in for a better deal.

    • Kenneth

      Don: Orr is the greatest two-way player in B’s history. You may not have been born yet in early ’70s, but Orr revolutionized the game offensively as well as being the best defensive-defenseman in B’s history. Esposito was part of that offensive revolution but no one comes close to Orr as the most complete player in B’s history. No one.

  5. Garry McArthur

    My list:#4,#77,#37,#7,#9,#33,#2,#1,Tim Thomas,#63. Why is Lionel Hitchman #3,in the HOF?

  6. skyreader

    Gerry Cheevers over Tuuka Rask

  7. Rick W Murray

    No way in this world is Patrice infront of Cam and no way in the entire galaxy is Tuukka choke Rask even in the top 20. Great regseason goalie cannot withstand pressure of the post season.

  8. Rick W Murray

    Oops by the way Orr is the greatest player of all time Gretzky and Mario couldn’t even hold his stick tape. Gordie is second on that list. Thomas deserves to be on this list.

  9. Scott Woodman

    Just in popularity alone Terry O’Reilly alone he would have made it let alone performance record how many fights that have jumped up and put the team back on it’s toes and if people don’t know what that means or does to someone playing the game it can’t be described Boston Bruins Bad Boys

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