NHL 23 Archetypes: Best Playmakers

Here are the best Playmaker archetypes in NHL 23 by overall rating.


In every team sport, having players who can control the means of possession and set their teammates for success is crucial to success, both immediate and sustained. In hockey, the Playmaker archetypes fall to forwards: centers and wing players.

Below, you will find the NHL 23 best playmakers by overall rating for your franchise should you want an upgrade to your roster. Attribute ratings are current as of October 17 and the October 4 live roster. Any states referenced are current through October 16 as the NHL season recently began. Each featured player is at least 90 OVR.


Note: for the forward positions, the only archetype that will not receive a list is Enforcers. As of October 17, there is only one Enforcer archetype in NHL 23 in Ross Johnston (75 OVR) of the New York Islanders.

1. Connor McDavid (95 OVR)

Connor McDavid - One of the best playmaker archetypes

Age: 25
Position: Center
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Edmonton Oilers
Handedness: Left
Salary: $12.500M (4 Years)
Best Attributes: 98 Passing, 98 Off. Awareness, 98 Agility

The player at the top of all player ratings in NHL 23 – and on the most number of these lists – Connor McDavid is a man that needs no introduction. McDavid has five attributes at 98 with Hand-Eye, Passing, Puck Control, Off. Awareness, and Agility. He’s also the only player with a 98 rating in any attribute aside from being the only one 95 OVR. No matter where you look, McDavid is great at worst and exceptional at best, skewing toward the latter.

McDavid has already accomplished a Hall of Fame career as he enters his eighth year in the NHL, all with Edmonton. For the 2021-2022 season, McDavid had 44 goals and 79 assists (123 points) in 80 games. He added ten goals and 23 assists (33 points) in 16 playoff games before Edmonton suffered a sweep in the Western Conference Finals to eventual champion Colorado.


2. Nathan MacKinnon (94 OVR)

Nathan McKinnon - One of the best playmaker archetypes

Age: 27
Position: Center, Right Wing
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Colorado Avalanche
Handedness: Right
Salary: $6.300M (1 Year)
Best Attributes: 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Puck Control, 95 Acceleration

Nathan MacKinnon is one of two Colorado Avalanche players at 94 OVR – the other being defenseman Cale Makar – as he hopes to win a second consecutive Stanley Cup championship. MacKinnon pairs great Puck Skills – 95 Puck Control and 94 Deking, Hand-Eye, and Passing – with superb Skating attributes – 95 Acceleration, Agility, and Speed with 90 Balance and 88 Endurance. He has 94 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 92 in the other three Shooting attributes. He is fast and skilled, a dangerous combination in hockey.

Mackinnon was an integral part of the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup championship run in the 2021-2022 season. For his career, MacKinnon has 243 goals and 409 assists (652 points) in 640 games. He’s added 41 goals and 52 assists (93 points) in 70 playoff games. Thus causing no surprises for being listed as one of the NHL 23 best playmakers.


3. Sidney Crosby (93 OVR)

Sidney Crosby - One of the best playmaker archetypes in NHL 23

Age: 35
Position: Center
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Handedness: Left
Salary: $8.700M (3 Years)
Best Attributes: 95 Poise, 94 Hand-Eye, 94 Def. Awareness

The longtime star is still going strong as one of NHL 23 best playmakers, considering how he is also one of the top ten players in NHL 23 overall. Crosby has 95 Poise and 94 Off. and Def. Awareness, giving him a cool head regardless of the situation. He also has 94 Hand-Eye and Passing, and 93 Deking and Puck Control to pair with Shooting attributes of 91 Slap Shot Accuracy, Slap Shot Power, and Wrist Shot Accuracy with 90 Wrist Shot Power. He can still skate well with 91 Balance, 90 Acceleration, Agility, and Speed, and 88 Endurance.

Crosby is a three-time champion and two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner. For his career, the future Hall of Famer has 519 goals and 896 assists (1,415 points) in 1,111 games as he’s in his eighteenth season, all with Pittsburgh. With his amazing stats discussed so far, it is evident why Crosby would be a main contender for the NHL 23 best playmakers.

4. Jonathan Huberdeau (92 OVR)

Jonathan Huberdeau - One of the best playmaker archetypes in NHL 23

Age: 29
Position: Left Wing
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Calgary Flames
Handedness: Left
Salary: $5.900M (1 Year)
Best Attributes: 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Passing, 95 Puck Control

Jonathan Huberdeau is entering his first year in Calgary after spending his first seasons with Florida, including the 2021-2022 Presidents’ Trophy award club. Huberdeau pairs 96 Off. Awareness and 90 Poise with 95 Passing and Puck Control and 94 Deking and Hand-Eye. He’s pretty fast with 92 Agility and 91 Acceleration and Speed. Huberdeau is also an adept shooter with 92 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 91 Slap Shot Accuracy, 90 Wrist Shot Power, and 89 Slap Shot Power.

Huberdeau played a big role in Florida’s 2021-2022 season. He scored 30 goals with 85 assists (115 points) in 80 games. He added one goal and four assists (five points) in ten games as Florida was disappointingly eliminated in the second round in a sweep to Tampa Bay. No doubt, he earns a spot as one of the NHL 23 best playmakers.

5. Artemi Panarin (92 OVR)

Artemi Panarin - One of the best playmaker archetypes in NHL 23.

Age: 30
Position: Left Wing
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: New York Rangers
Handedness: Right
Salary: $11.643M (4 Years)
Best Attributes: 96 Deking, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Passing

Artemi Panarin is the last of the Playmaker archetypes rated above 90 OVR. He’s excellent on offense with 96 Off. Awareness and Deking, and 95 Hand-Eye, Passing, and Puck Control. He has the shot accuracy of a Sniper with 94 in both Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Accuracy, though he has 91 Wrist Shot Power and 89 Slap Shot Power. He’s also a great skater with 93 Agility, 92 Acceleration and Speed, 89 Endurance, 88 Durability, and 85 Balance.

Panarin finished the 2021-2022 season with 22 goals and 74 assists (96 points) in 75 games. The former Calder Memorial Trophy winner added six goals and ten assists (16 points) in 20 playoff game as the Rangers lost in six games to the Lightning in the Eastern Conference Finals.

6. Johnny Gaudreau (90 OVR)

Age: 29
Position: Left Wing 
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Columbus Blue Jackets
Handedness: Left
Salary: $9.750M (7 Years)
Best Attributes: 96 Deking, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Discipline

Columbus’ Johnny Gaudreau is a skilled Playmaker that hopes to be the fulcrum for the Blue Jackets to not just make their first Conference Finals, but their first Stanley Cup Finals. Gaudreau can handle the puck well as he pairs his 96 Off. Awareness and 95 Poise with 96 Deking, 95 Puck Control, 94 Passing, and 93 Hand-Eye. He’s better at passing than scoring, but is still shows good scoring potentials with 92 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 91 Slap Shot Accuracy, 89 Wrist Shot Power, and 88 Slap Shot Power. He’s speedy too with 94 Agility and 93 Acceleration and Speed.

Gaudreau is entering his first year in Columbus after spending his first nine seasons in Calgary. He has career totals of 212 goals and 401 assists (613 points) in 605 games. Gaudreau has added 11 goals and 22 assists (33 points) in 42 playoff games.

7. Evgeni Malkin (90 OVR)

One of the best playmaker archetypes in NHL 23

Age: 36
Position: Center
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Pittsburgh Penguins
Handedness: Left
Salary: $6.100M (4 Years)
Best Attributes: 95 Poise, 93 Deking, 93 Passing

Another longtime Pittsburgh Penguin on this list is Evgeni Malkin is sitting gallantly on this list of NHL 23 best playmakers. Despite being 36, he is still play at the top level. Malkin has 95 Poise and 93 Off. Awareness that are right in line with his Puck Skills – 93 Deking, Passing, and Puck Control with 90 Hand-Eye – and Shooting – 92 Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Power and 90 Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Accuracy. As expected, he’s not as quick as he once was, but he’s still fast enough with 99 Acceleration, Agility, and Speed to add to his 91 Balance.

Malkin is looking for his fourth title after a decent 2021-2022 season. He scored 20 goals with 22 assists (42 points) in only 41 games. However, he added three goals and three assists (six points) in seven playoff games as Pittsburgh lost a hard-fought first round series to the New York Rangers.

8. Mitchell Marner (90 OVR)

Age: 25
Position: Right Wing
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Toronto Maple Leafs
Handedness: Right
Salary: $10.900M (3 Years)
Best Attributes: 96 Passing, 95 Puck Control, 95 Off. Awareness

Mitchell Marner hopes that he can combine with Auston Matthews (94 OVR) to end Canada’s Stanley Cup drought. He is best with the puck with his 96 Passing, 95 Puck Control, 94 Deking, and 93 Hand-Eye to pair with his 95 Off. Awareness and 90 Poise. He is an accurate shooter with 93 Wrist Shot Accuracy and 92 Slap Shot Accuracy, plus 88 in Slap Shot and Wrist Shot Power. He is also a speedy skater with 93 Agility, 92 Accelerations, and 90 Speed.

The Maple Leafs’ Playmaker is entering his seventh season with the team. He has 139 goals and 320 assists (459 points) in 431 games. The two-time All-Star and 2016-2017 All-Rookie Team member has added seven goals and 26 assists (33 points) in 39 playoff games.

9. Steven Stamkos (90 OVR)

Age: 32
Position: Center, Right Wing
Archetype: Playmaker
Team: Tampa Bay Lightning
Handedness: Right
Salary: $8.500M (2 Years)
Best Attributes: 94 Acceleration, 94 Slap Shot Power, 93 Agility

Steven Stamkos has been a stalwart of Tampa Bay, now entering his fifteenth season, all with the Lightning. Stamkos is a smooth skater with 94 Acceleration, 93 Agility, 92 Speed, and 88 Balance. Stamkos has 93 Off. Awareness, Deking, Passing, and Puck Control to go along with 90 Hand-Eye. He’s a good shooter as well as he has 94 Slap Shot Power, 92 Wrist Shot Power and Slap Shot Accuracy, and 90 Wrist Shot Accuracy.

He played 81 games in 2021-2022, scoring 42 and assisting 64 other goals for 106 points. In 23 playoff games, he added 11 goals and eight assists (19 points) as Tampa Bay fell just short of a third consecutive championship.

All of the best Playmakers in NHL 23

Below are all of NHL 23 best playmaker archetypes by overall rating. Each player listed is at least 88 OVR, topped by McDavid.

NameOverallAgePositionArchetypeHandednessTeamSalaryBest Attributes
Connor McDavid9525CenterPlaymakerLeftEdmonton Oilers$11.875M (4 Years)98 Passing, 98 Off. Awareness, 98 Agility
Nathan MacKinnon9427Center, Right WingPlaymakerRightColorado Avalanche$6.300M (1 Year)96 Off. Awareness, 95 Puck Control, 95 Acceleration
Sidney Crosby9335CenterPlaymakerLeftPittsburgh Penguins$8.555M (3 Years)95 Poise, 94 Hand-Eye, 94 Def. Awareness
Jonathan Huberdeau9229Left WingPlaymakerLeftCalgary Flames$5.900M (1 Year)96 Off. Awareness, 95 Passing, 95 Puck Control
Artemi Panarin9230Left WingPlaymakerRightNew York Rangers$11.645M (4 Years)96 Deking, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Passing
Mitchell Marner9025Right WingPlaymakerRightToronto Maple Leafs$10.650M (3 Years)96 Passing, 95 Puck Control, 95 Off. Awareness
Steven Stamkos9032Center, Right, WingPlaymakerRightTampa Bay Lightning$8.500M (2 Years)94 Acceleration, 94 Slap Shot Power, 93 Agility
Evgeni Malkin9036CenterPlaymakerLeftPittsburgh Penguins$5.975M (4 Years)95 Poise, 93 Deking, 93 Passing
Johnny Gaudreau9029Left WingPlaymakerLeftColumbus Blue Jackets$9.750M (7 Years)96 Deking, 96 Off. Awareness, 95 Discipline
Elias Lindholm8927Center, Right WingPlaymakerRightCalgary Flames$4.850M (2 Years)93 Def. Awareness, 92 Stick Checking, 92 Off. Awareness
Brayden Point8926Center, Right WingPlaymakerRightTampa Bay Lightning$9.500M (8 Years)93 Agility, 93 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 92 Deking
Jack Eichel8925CenterPlaymakerRightVegas Golden Knights$9.895M (4 Years)94 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 92 Off. Awareness, 92 Puck Skills
Mark Scheifele8929CenterPlaymakerRightWinnipeg Jets$6.125M (2 Years)93 Wrist Shot Accuracy, 92 Deking, 92 Off. Awareness
Dylan Larkin8926Center, Left WingPlaymakerLeftDetroit Red Wings$6.100M (1 Year)93 Acceleration, 93 Speed, 92 Off. Awareness
Matthew Barzal8825CenterPlaymakerRightNew York Islanders$7.000M (1 Year)95 Speed, 94 Passing, 94 Puck Control

Now you know the best Playmaker archetypes in NHL 23 by overall rating. Will you target the best player in the game in McDavid or go for someone a little less difficult to trade for like Johnny Gaudreau?

For more outstanding players that the game has to offer, check out our list of the best centers in NHL 23.

Have a look at our NHL 23 positions guide.


Bruce Lee

Bruce "Lee" is the Lead Editor for OutsiderGaming. He's a passionate writer, great editor who works tirelessly to develop young writers, and of course a great gamer. Bruce is interested in many games--from MLB the Show to the newest Pokemon releases.
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