Many small players have made a career in the league, but who is the shortest NHL player ever?

Shortest NHL player ever

In a league that prefers big, strong, and fast players, there have been a large number of shorter players that have made a name for themselves. The ones that have had the most success in the NHL are those that play as though they are the largest player on the ice.

Being overlooked for most of their playing days, it takes an extreme work ethic for smaller players to be noticed on the ice. The 10 players on this list were all able to beat 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 his rookie season. He would later join the Montreal Canadiens, helping them capture the Stanley Cup four times.

Worsley was one of the best goalies in the league at the time. He won the Vezina Trophy in 1966 and then once more in 1968. He finished his career with 40 playoff wins.

 
 
 
 

9. Yvan Cournoyer – 5’7”

Another former Montreal Canadiens player in the 1960s, Yvan Cournoyer, spent his entire 16-year career with the team. Cournoyer played a big role in Montreal’s dominance during the 1960s and 1970s. He won 10 Stanley Cups in his career, which is the second most by a player ever.

Cournoyer played in 968 NHL games, collecting over 850 points. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1982 and was named one of the 100 greatest players ever in 2017.

8. Brian Gionta – 5’7”

A 5’7” winger from Rochester, NY, Brian Gionta played in over 1,000 games in the NHL. He spent time playing with the New Jersey Devils, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, and Boston Bruins.

Gionta’s best season came in 2005-06 when he had 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 victory.

7. Henri Richard – 5’7”

One of the shortest players in NHL history, but also one of the best ever, 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 only missed the playoffs twice in his career.

Richard had five seasons where he had more than 60 points, which includes his career-high 80-point season in 1957-58. He played over 1,250 games in his career and sits 77th 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 split between the Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, and Nashville Predators.

Grimaldi’s best season came in 2019-20 when he had 31 points in 66 games. He has spent the majority 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 of all time, Theo Fleury was an elite player in the 1990s. He first came into the league during the 1988-89 season, winning the Stanley Cup with the Flames that year as a rookie. That would 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 collected 1,088 points. He had two seasons for the Flames in which he reached the 100-point mark.

4. Robbie Moore – 5’4”

It is unlikely you remember the name Robbie Moore, as he appeared in just six games in the NHL. The 5’4” Canadian goaltender made his NHL debut for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1979. He would go on to play just five games for the team that season, starting in three of those.

Moore would appear in one more 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 only lasted 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 ever.

Pang started 70 games in his career and had an overall record of 27 wins, 35 losses, and seven ties.

2. Nathan Gerbe – 5’4”

Nathan Gerbe was a fifth-round pick in 2005 and went on to play 435 games in the NHL.

Gerbe spent time with the Buffalo Sabres, 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” goaltender was born in the year 1900 and went on to play 12 seasons in the league.

He spent the majority 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.

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