Many young players have made major league careers, but who is the shortest NHL player of all time?
The shortest NHL player ever
In a league that favors big, strong, and fast players, there have been a large number of short players who have made a name for themselves. The people who have the most success in the NHL are those who play as if they are the biggest player on the ice.
Being overlooked for most of their playing days, it takes an extreme work ethic for young players to get noticed on the ice. The ten players on this list have all managed to overcome the odds and play in the best league in the world, despite being shorter than 5'8″.
10. Gump Worsley – 5'7″
Goaltender Gump Worsley played 860 games in the NHL. Worsley began his career with the New York Rangers, winning the Calder Trophy in his rookie season. He later joined the Montreal Canadiens, helping them capture the Stanley Cup four times.
Worsley was one of the best goaltenders in the league at the time. He won the Vezina Trophy in 1966 and again in 1968. He finished his career with 40 playoff wins.
9. Yvan Cournoyer – 5'7″
Another former Montreal Canadiens player of the 1960s, Yvan Cournoyer, spent his entire 16-year career with the team. Cournoyer played a huge role in Montreal's dominance during the 1960s and 1970s. He has won 10 Stanley Cups in his career, the second-most ever won by any player.
Cournoyer played 968 games in the NHL, accumulating more than 850 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982 and was named one of the 100 greatest players of all time in 2017.
8. Brian Gionta – 5'7″
Brian Gionta, a 5'7″ winger from Rochester, New York, has played in more than 1,000 NHL games. He spent time playing for the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabers, and Boston Bruins.
Gionta's best season came in 2005-06 when he scored 48 goals and 89 points. He finished his career with 595 points. He had nine points during New Jersey's 2002–03 playoff run that led to Gionta's first and only Stanley Cup win.
7. Henry Richard – 5'7″
One of the shortest players in NHL history, but also one of the best players of all time, Henri Richard had an incredible 20-year career with the Montreal Canadiens. Richard holds the league record for the most Stanley Cups ever won by a player with 11, and has only missed the playoffs twice in his career.
Richard had five seasons where he had 60+ points, which includes a career high of 80 points in 1957-58. He played over 1,250 games in his career and sits at 77y All-time in points with 1,046. Richard was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1979.
6. Rocco Grimaldi – 5'6″
Rocco Grimaldi is a 5'6″ right winger who last played in the league during the 2021-22 season. He has played 203 games in his NHL career between the Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche and Nashville Predators.
Grimaldi's best season came in 2019-20 when he scored 31 points in 66 games. He has spent most of the past two seasons playing in the American Hockey League. At the IIHF World Championship earlier this year, Grimaldi led the tournament in scoring with 14 points in 10 games.
5. Theo Fleury – 5'6″
One of the best Calgary Flames players of all time, Theo Fleury was one of the elite players of the 1990s. He first entered the league during the 1988-89 season, winning the Stanley Cup with the Flames that year as a rookie. This will be his only championship in his career.
Fleury averaged a point per game throughout his 15 years in the league. In 1,084 career games, Fleury has accumulated 1,088 points. He had two seasons with the Flames in which he reached the 100-point mark.
4. Robbie Moore – 5'4″
You're unlikely to remember the name Robbie Moore, as he only appeared in six games in the NHL. The 5'4″ Canadian goaltender made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers in 1979. He went on to play just five games for the team that season, starting three of them.
Moore would appear in another NHL game three years later in 1982. He played less than 20 minutes in the game for the Washington Capitals and saved six of the seven shots he faced.
3. Darren Pang – 5'4″
Darren Pang lasted just 81 games in the NHL as a goaltender for the Chicago Blackhawks. His final season came in 1988-89, where he was coached by Mike Keenan, one of the best hockey coaches of all time.
Pang started 70 matches in his career and recorded a total of 27 wins, 35 losses and seven draws.
2. Nathan Gerbe – 5'4″
Nathan Gerbe was selected in the fifth round in 2005 and went on to play 435 games in the NHL.
Gerbe spent time with the Buffalo Sabers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Columbus Blue Jackets. He collected 151 points throughout his 11-year career in the league.
1. Roy Worters – 5'3″
Roy Worters has the honor of being the shortest NHL player ever. The 5'3″ goalkeeper was born in 1900 and went on to play 12 seasons in the league.
He spent most of his career with the New York Americans. He won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1929 and then won the Vezina Trophy in 1931. Worters was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1969.