Wayne Gretzky NHL Records: 2024 Edition

As a Hockey Fan growing up in Alberta watching the Edmonton Oilers, I was always amazed at the talent and skill of Wayne Gretzky. He was well spoken and seemed like an all-around, sincerely nice person. He’s been a champion of the game of hockey his entire life. It happens to be his sixty-third birthday today and The hockey Fanatic would like to wish Wayne Gretzky a happy birthday with a bit of a “tribute” post.

When Wayne Gretzky retired in 1999, he had accumulated 61 NHL records to his credit. Since his retirement, four of his records have fallen and he has gained one record, leaving him with a new total of 58 official records. Who could have broken these Wayne Gretzky records? Think Patrick Kane, Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, Joe Sakic, Leon Draisaitl and Alex Ovechkin.

  • Gretzky’s record of 15 regular season overtime assists has now been surpassed by over 40 players. Patrick Kane is the current record holder at 26 assists in regular season overtime.
  • Joe Sakic (16), Mark Messier (14), and Ray Bourque (13) have passed Gretzky’s record (12) for most All-Star game assists.
  • In the 2022 Stanley Cup playoffs vs. Calgary, Leon Draisaitl recorded 15 assists to break Gretzky’s record of 14 in one series.
  • On March 21, 2023, Alexander Ovechkin broke Gretzky’s record for most 40-goal seasons, with his 13th.

The record that Wayne Gretzky acquired was for points per game average. Wayne Gretzky finished his career with a 1.921 points per game average. Mario Lemieux originally held the record with 2.005 points per game when Gretzky retired in 1999, but after Lemieux came back to the NHL from 2000 to 2005, his average fell to 1.883, second behind Gretzky’s.

Wayne Gretzky: The GOAT

Wayne Gretzky’s Records as of January 2024

The records that Wayne Gretzky currently owns include the following:

Regular Season NHL Records

The Great One currently owns 39 NHL regular season records.

  1. Most goals: 894 in 1,487 games
  2. Most goals, including playoffs: 1,016 in 1,487 regular season games including 122 playoff goals
  3. Most goals, one season: 92 in 1981–82, 80-game schedule
  4. Most goals, one season, including playoffs: 100 in 1983–84, 87 goals in 74 regular season games and 13 goals in 19 playoff games
  5. Most goals, 50 games from start of season: 61 in 1981–82 (7 October 1981 to 22 January 1982, 80-game schedule) and 1983–84 (5 October 1983 to 25 January 1984), 80-game schedule
  6. Most goals, one period: 4 (tied with 10 other players) 18 February 1981
  7. Most assists: 1,963
  8. Most assists, including playoffs: 2,223
  9. Most assists, one season: 163 in 1985–86, 80-game schedule
  10. Most assists, one season, including playoffs: 174 in 1985–86, 163 assists in 80 regular season games and 11 assists in 10 playoff games
  11. Most assists, one game: 7 (tied with Billy Taylor) on three occasions—16 February 1980; 11 December 1985; 15 February 1986
  12. Most assists, one road game: 7 (tied with Billy “The Kid” Taylor) 11 December 1985
  13. Most points: 2,857 in 1,487 games (894 goals, 1,963 assists)
  14. Most points, including playoffs: 3,239 in 1,487 regular season and 208 playoff games. (1016 goals, 2223 assists)
  15. Most points, one season: 215 in 1985–86, 80-game schedule (52 goals, 163 assists)
  16. Most points, one season, including playoffs: 255 in 1984–85; 208 points in 80 regular season games and 47 points in 18 playoff games
  17. Most overtime assists, career: 13
  18. Most goals by a centre, career: 894
  19. Most goals by a centre, one season: 92 in 1981–82, 80-game schedule
  20. Most assists by a centre, career: 1,963
  21. Most assists by a centre, one season: 163 in 1985–86, 80-game schedule
  22. Most points by a centre, career: 2,857
  23. Most points by a centre, one season: 215 in 1985–86, 80-game schedule
  24. Most assists in one game by a player in his first season: 7 on 15 February 1980
  25. Highest goals-per-game average, one season: 1.18 in 1983–84, 87 goals in 74 games
  26. Highest assists-per-game average, career (300 min.): 1.321 — 1,963 assists in 1,487 games
  27. Highest assists-per-game average, one season: 2.04 in 1985–86, 163 assists in 80 games
  28. Highest points-per-game average, one season (among players with 50-or-more points): 2.77 in 1983–84, 205 points in 74 games
  29. Most 40-or-more goal seasons: 12 in 20 seasons
  30. Most 50-or-more goal seasons: 9 (tied with Mike Bossy and Alex Ovechkin)
  31. Most 60-or-more goal seasons: 5 (tied with Mike Bossy)
  32. Most consecutive 60-or-more goals seasons: 4 from 1981–82 to 1984–85
  33. Most 100-or-more point seasons: 15
  34. Most consecutive 100-or-more point seasons: 13 from 1979–80 to 1991–92
  35. Most three-or-more goal games, career: 50 — 37 three-goal (hat trick) games; nine four-goal games; four five-goal games
  36. Most three goal games, one season: 10 (done twice) in 1981–82 and 1983–84
  37. Longest consecutive assist scoring streak: 23 games in 1990–91, 48 assists
  38. Longest consecutive point-scoring streak: 51 Games in 1983–84 (October 5, 1983 to January 28, 1984, 61 goals, 92 assists for 153 points)
  39. Longest consecutive point-scoring streak from start of season: 51 in 1983–84; 61 goals, 92 assists for 153 points (October 5, 1983 to January 28, 1984)

Wayne Gretzky Playoff Records

Gretzky currently owns 14 NHL Playoff records.

  1. Most playoff goals, career: 122
  2. Most playoff assists, career: 260
  3. Most assists, one playoff year: 31 in 1988 (in 19 games)
  4. Most assists in final series: 10 in 1988 (four games, plus the suspended game vs. Boston)
  5. Most assists, one playoff game: 6 (tied with Mikko Leinonen) on April 9, 1987
  6. Most assists, one playoff period: 3 – Three assists by one player in one period of a playoff game has been recorded on 70 occasions, five of them by Gretzky
  7. Most points, career: 382 — 122 goals and 260 assists
  8. Most points, one playoff year: 47 in 1985 (17 goals and 30 assists in 18 games)
  9. Most points in final series: 13 in 1988 three goals and 10 assists (four games plus suspended game vs. Boston, three goals)
  10. Most points, one playoff period: 4 (tied with nine other players)
  11. Most short-handed goals, one playoff year: 3 (tied with five other players) 1983
  12. Most short-handed goals, one playoff game: 2 (tied with eight other players) 6 April 1983
  13. Most game-winning goals in playoffs, career: 24 (tied with Brett Hull)
  14. Most three-or-more goals games (hat trick): 10 (eight three-goal games, two four-goal games)

Wayne Gretzky All-Star Records

Wayne Gretzky currently own five NHL all-star game records. Although with the format change over the years, you have to think a few of these will fall in time.

  1. Most All-Star game goals, career: 13 (in 18 games played)
  2. Most All-Star game goals, one game: 4 (tied with three players) 1983 Campbell Conference
  3. Most All-Star game goals, one period: 4 1983 Campbell Conference, third period
  4. Most All-Star game points, career: 25 (13 goals, 12 assists in 18 games)
  5. Most All-Star game points, one period: 4 (tied with Mike Gartner and Adam Oates) 1983 Campbell Conference, third period (four goals)
Wayne Gretzky Super Action Hockey Card

Other Records

There are a number of “unofficial records” that Wayne Gretzky owns as well. Some of the more interesting ones include:

  • Youngest player to score 50 goals in a season (19 years, two months)
  • Most career even strength goals: 617
  • Most consecutive seasons averaging at least two points per game: 9
  • Most 100-or-more assist seasons: 11
  • Largest margin of victory in the scoring race: 79 (in 1983–84)
  • Most points by an NHL player in his first year: 137. Because of Gretzky’s season played in the WHA, he was not considered a rookie in his first year, so the rookie record belongs to Teemu Selanne with 132
  • Most assists by an NHL player in his first year: 86. The rookie record is held jointly by Peter Stastny and Joe Juneau with 70 assists. Note that the record book gives Gretzky the record for most assists and points in a game as a first year player, but not the season totals.
  • Most 200-or-more point seasons: 4. Gretzky owns the official record for most 100 point seasons. He is the only player to reach 200 points in a season
  • Most consecutive 200 point seasons: 3
  • Most consecutive 70 goal seasons: 4
  • Most 80-or-more goal seasons: 2
  • Most 90-or-more goal seasons: 1. Wayne Gretzky is the only player to achieve 90 or more goals in a season. He has 92 in 1981-82
  • Most short-handed regular season career goals: 73
  • Highest plus/minus by a forward, single season: +100
  • Most game-winning goals in the playoffs: 24 (tied with Brett Hull)
  • Most NHL and WHA regular season points: 2,967
  • Most NHL and WHA regular season and playoff points: 3,369
Wayne Gretzky Hockey Night in California Poster

9 Gretzky Records that will Never Be Broken

Of all of the records owned by Wayne Gretzky, there are a number that may never be broken. Here is a look at nine of those records and some thoughts on why they may not ever be broken.

#9. Most three-or-more goal games, career: – Wayne Gretzky had 50 (yes 50) games in which he recorded three of more goals. He had four five -goal games in his career.

Why this record will never be broken: Consistency. If you are an elite scorer in today’s NHL, you may expect what three if you’re lucky maybe four games where you record a hat-trick or more? You would need to do that consistently for sixteen seasons to earn this record. Auston Matthews may score a lot of hat-tricks but it’s unlikely that he will have more than 50.

#8. Most consecutive 60-or-more goals seasons: From 1981–82 to 1984–85 Wayne Gretzky scored 60 or more goals in a season. While Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid have recently had one 60 goal season (with Matthews pushing for that mark again in the 2023-24 NHL season), it is unlikely that any player will have five consecutive 60-goals seasons.

Why this record will never be broken: Parity in the NHL. Teams are too good. If you pop 60 goals one season, during the next teams will find ways to shut you down. While it won’t work every night, you will need to score in 75% of your games to hit 60 goals.

#7. Highest assists-per-game average, one season: In 1985–86, with 163 assists in 80 games, Wayne Gretzky established a record for the highest assist-per-game average with: 2.04. This is a phenomenal record. Especially when you consider that only two other players have ever amassed 100-assist seasons (Mario Lemieux with 114 in 1988-89 and Bobby Orr with 102 in 1970-71.

Wayne Gretzky Consecutive 100 Assist Seasons

Image Courtesy of: Statmuse

Why this record will never be broken: The Wayne Gretzky factor. Wayne Gretzky was the greatest playmaker to ever play the game. Connor McDavid is probably the most advanced hockey player that we have witnessed in a long time, but he only had 89 apples in 2022-23 when he put up his staggering 153 regular season point total. McDavid would have needed 167 assists in 82 games to tie Gretzky’s 2.04 assist-per-game average.

#6. Most career assists including playoffs – Including playoff, Wayne Gretzky assisted on 2,223 goals scored by his teammates. The Great One had regular seasons where his assists totals were 122,125,135 and 163. Greatest playmaker and offensive player the NHL has ever seen.

Why this record will never be broken: The Wayne Gretzky factor. Let this sink in, Wayne Gretzky has more career NHL assists than any player had points. Take away every goal that Wayne Gretzky ever scored in the National Hockey League and he would still be the all-time points leader.

#5. Most goals one season, including playoffs – Wayne Gretzky hold the record for most goals, one season, including playoffs when he tallied 100 in 1983–84. Gretzky scored 87 goals in 74 regular season games and added another thirteen goals in nineteen playoff games. The man put up 240 points that season.

Why this record will never be broken: Goaltending. Since this record was set, only Brett Hull has really come close this record when he scored 86 regular season goals and added 11 playoff goals in 1990-91 with the St. Louis Blues. More recently, even with his 64 goal season in 2022-23, Connor McDavid added eight playoff goals for a total of 72. The best Auston Matthews has done is 64 goals total. In the case of Matthews, considered one of today’s greatest goal scorers, to make up the 36% difference is highly unlikely.

#4. Most Points Including Playoffs – Gretzky currently owns the record for most points, including playoffs with (are you ready for this?):  3,239 points in 1,487 regular season and 208 playoff games. (1,016 goals, 2,223 assists). These numbers are absurd.

Why this record will never be broken: Consistency and longevity. If we break down the math here, let’s say a player played for twenty seasons and made the playoffs 75% of the time (15 seasons). The player would need to average 162 points per season to just tie this record. Realistically you would have to average 135 points per season in the regular season (1.64 points per game) and approximately 28-30 points per post season (roughly a 1.5 PPG ratio in the playoffs). This is assuming that your team makes the playoffs in 15 of 20 season played.

#3. Most Consecutive 100 point seasons – it’s hard to get 100 points in an NHL season nowadays. To get 14 in a row is a definite challenge.  Wayne Gretzky owns the record for the most consecutive 100-or-more point seasons with 13 which he accomplished from 1979–80 to 1991–92. Mario Lemieux couldn’t do it, Jaromir Jagr couldn’t accomplish this and even the great Connor McDavid would be hard pressed to have 8 consecutive seasons of 100 points or more.

Why this record will never be broken:  The grind of the NHL season. Playing a full 82 games and then playoffs (if your team makes it in) makes for a long season. Keeping a consistent pace of 100+ points for 13 seasons? Nah, not going to happen in this day and age.

#2. Most Career Points – Gretzky’s 2,857 in 1,487 games (894 goals, 1,963 assists) is another record that may never fall (unless they substantially increase the number of regular-season games. The average NHL player’s careers is around 4-5 seasons. Even if you are lucky to play say 20 seasons in the league (along with playoffs) you would have to average nearly 143 points a season to just tie this record. Just can’t see that happening.

Why this record will never be broken:  The points-per-game ratio and longevity needed to break this record will simply not happen.

#1. 50 Goals in 39 Games – this is one of the greatest records in all of sports. When Maurice Richard scored 50 goals in 50 games in 1944-45, it took the next player (Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion) 16 years to score fifty goals in a season (let alone in fifty games. It wasn’t until the 1980-81 season when Mike Bossy of the New York Islanders scored 50-in-50 again. A year later, The Great One popped 50-in39 and no one has come close since. Well other than Gretzky himself who hit 50 goals in 42 games in 1983-84.  

Why this record will never be broken:  The simple answer is goaltending. NHL goalies are bigger, faster and more skilled than they were in the early 80’s. Not to mention there is more of a commitment to defense overall. The second reason it will never be broken is in part due to how the record is defined: The 50-in-50 is an official achievement only because a player completes it within their team’s first 50 games. In today’s NHL there are more teams, which means more travel, which means players will have more “off nights”. With the increase in the number of teams, parity also increased. Team overall are better and gone are the days when you played a team seven or eight times in a season and could “stack” your goal and point totals.

More on 50-in-50.

Gretzky's #99

I’ve never met Mr. Gretzky, it’s on my bucket-list (if anyone can help make it happen, please reach out to me),but I’ve always wondered what I would say to him? Would I ask him about one of the many NHL records he owns? Would I ask him about his favourite hockey memory? Would I ask him how the family is doing? Would I ask him about what he thinks of the game today? I’d probably give him a copy of my book Burning the Midnight Oil: The Story of a Lifelong Oilers Fan. I’m not sure, but I do know that I would shake his hand and tell him “Thanks”. Thanks for allowing me to experience some of the greatest hockey accolades of all-time and thanks for being the Great One. Happy birthday Wayne!

For additional milestones and records owned by Wayne Gretzky visit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_career_achievements_by_Wayne_Gretzky