(Photo credit: @NHLPR/ Twitter)

Who are the oldest NHL players in 2023? The new generation of hockey players is making their mark, but the veterans will always have a place.

There are two players over the age of 40 playing in the NHL during the 2022-2023 season. Despite the average retirement age being 28-30, there are also numerous NHL players still playing the game into their late 30s.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the five oldest active NHL players in 2023 and the type of impact they are making for their respective clubs.

Here are the five oldest active NHL players in 2023:

5. Marc-Andre Fleury, Minnesota Wild

Marc-Andre Fleury is 38 years old and one of two goalies on this list of the oldest active NHL players. Born November 28th, 1984, in Quebec, Canada, Fleury is one of the most accomplished and beloved goaltenders in NHL history. The veteran netminder is currently tending twine for the Minnesota Wild, where he continues to be a master of his craft. In 41 games during the 2022-23 season, Fleury has posted a 23-13-3 record with a .908 save percentage and 2.83 GAA, to go with two shutouts.

Minnesota Wild goalie Mike Smith, one of the oldest active NHL goalies
Photo credit: @MNWild/ Twitter)

Fleury is a true example of a top NHL prospect actually living up to the hype. “The Flower” was drafted first overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and rewarded the franchise for picking him over a top forward or defenseman. Fleury spent 13 seasons with the Penguins, helping lead the team to three Stanley Cups in 2009, 2016, and 2017. After a sensational career in Pittsburgh, The Vegas Golden Knights selected Fleury in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft.

It surprisingly took until Fleury’s 15th NHL season for the esteemed goalie to be nominated for the Vezina Trophy. In his first season with Vegas in 2020-21, Fleury won the prestigious award as the NHL’s top goalie. To the shock of many, Vegas traded Fleury to the Chicago Blackhawks the following summer. During that season, the Blackhawks parted with Fleury in a trade with Minnesota. Although he has been in the later years of his career, his career accolades speak for themselves.

4. Zach Parise, New York Islanders

Born July 28th, 1984, Zach Parise is just a few weeks short of being the oldest active NHL forward. Parise is currently 38 years of age and playing on the third line for the New York Islanders. The Minnesota native is still finding ways to be productive in his 18th NHL season, recording 18 goals and 29 points in 71 games during the 2022-23 campaign.

New York Islanders' winger Zach Parise is one of the oldest active NHL player
(Photo credit: @NYIslanders/ Instagram)

Unlike the player who follows him on this list, Parise is a smaller player who was still drafted in the first round despite his size. The New Jersey Devils drafted Parise 17th overall in the 2003 NHL Draft. The undersized forward spent seven seasons with the Devils, where he strung together four consecutive 30-plus-goal seasons. Parise eventually signed a massive 13-year, $98 million contract with his hometown Minnesota Wild in the summer of 2012.

Parise’s last few years in the NHL have been interesting ones. While Parise scored at least 20 goals five different times in his first eight seasons with the Wild, there was a consensus that the veteran wasn’t living up to his contract. The Wild eventually bought out the remainder of that contract, and Parise went on to join the Islanders as a free agent in September of 2021. Parise reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Devils in 2009, but the team fell short against the LA Kings.¬†

3. Joe Pavelski, Dallas Stars 

Born July 11, 1984, Joe Pavelski is currently the oldest forward in the NHL. Pavelski is 38 years of age and just a few weeks older than the NHL’s next oldest forward. Pavelski is currently playing for the Dallas Stars, where he plays an important role in their offense. The veteran forward has played in all 70 games for the club in the 2022-23 season, recording 19 goals and 45 assists for 64 points. Furthermore, Pavelski’s plus-33 rating speaks to his impressive two-way game.

Dallas Stars center Joe Pavelski is the oldest active NHL forward
(Photo credit: @DallasStars/ Twitter)

Pavelski was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the 7th round of the 2003 NHL Draft. Much like the player that comes below him on this list, Pavelski was a player that hockey scouts got wrong. One of the reasons NHL teams passed on Pavelski was due to his size, as he’s currently listed at only 5’11” and 200 lbs. His small frame hasn’t been a deterrent in his career, as “Little Joe” has recorded 440 goals and 548 assists in 1,238 career NHL games.

Pavelski spent 12 seasons with the Sharks before signing with the Dallas Stars as a free agent in the summer of 2019. Pavelski is an NHL player that is considered invaluable to any team. He is one of the best faceoff specialists in the league and is also regarded as the master of tipping pucks past goaltenders. This isn’t even touching on his stellar defensive play, which has led to him being a finalist for the Selke Trophy on multiple occasions. Pavelski reached the Stanley Cup Final with the Sharks in 2016 but came up short, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Many hockey fans are rooting for Pavelski to win a Cup with Dallas before he retires.

2. Mark Giordano, Toronto Maple Leafs

At 39 years of age, Mark Giordano is the oldest active NHL defenseman. The veteran rearguard was born October 3rd, 1983, and is two years shy of being the NHL’s oldest player. Giordano is currently playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs, where he has recorded four goals, 18 assists and 22 points in 68 games during the 2022-23 season. Regarded as one of the NHL’s most respected players, Giordano currently sports an ‘A’ on his jersey.

Toronto Maple Leafs Mark Giordano is the oldest active NHL defenseman
(Photo credit: @NHLPR/ Twitter)

Giordano began his career with the Calgary Flames, where he was signed with the club as a free agent in the summer of 2005. Surprisingly, Giordano went undrafted coming out of the OHL with the Owen Sound Attack. All the teams who passed on Giordano in the draft ended up having regrets, as “Gio” went on to have a very successful career with the Flames. During his 15 seasons with Calgary, Giordano earned the captaincy and won the Norris Trophy in 2019.

Giordano’s NHL career has taken a new life in its final years. The Seattle Kraken selected him in 2021 as part of the NHL Expansion Draft, ending his long run in Calgary. However, Giordano wouldn’t spend much time with the NHL’s newest franchise, as Seattle traded Gio to Toronto midway through the 2021-22 campaign. Giordano’s ice time has dipped to 19:00 in 2023 after he played upwards of 25 minutes a night during his prime years.

1. Craig Anderson, Buffalo Sabres

Born May 21st, 1981, Craig Anderson is currently the oldest active NHL player. Anderson is 41 years of age and one year older than the NHL’s next oldest player. The US-born netminder is currently the backup goalie for the Buffalo Sabres, where he has started 15 games in the 2022-23 season. Anderson owns a 22-10-10 record this season with a .913 save percentage and 2.89 GAA. Anderson’s play has helped the Sabres to become on the verge of making the playoffs for the first time since 2010-11.

Buffalo Sabres' Craig Anderson is the oldest active NHL goalie
(Photo credit: @BuffaloSabres/ Twitter)

Anderson was drafted 73rd overall by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. The 41-year-old spent the early days of his career with the Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche before a trade to Ottawa in 2011 changed everything. Anderson’s career blossomed with the Senators, as he became the team’s franchise goaltender. Andersen spent 10 seasons in Ottawa, setting the franchise record for wins (202) and save percentage (.914).

Anderson never posted Vezina-calibre numbers in his career, but he’s known for being very reliable. The veteran owns a 315-270-71 all-time record in the NHL with a career .912 save percentage and 2.85 GAA. Anderson won the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy in 2017, presented to the player who exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. During that season, Anderson had to take several leaves of absence to be with his wife Nicholle, who was diagnosed with Cancer.