Adjusted Goals involves putting each season into a "neutral" scoring era of 6.00 goals per game and an 82 game schedule. As shown in the chart at the bottom during Gretzky's first five seasons the league average for goals per game was 7.67. This is almost a one/third higher scoring rate than Ovechkin's first five year NHL average of 5.83. Further still, Gretzky's league average is 80% higher than that of Nels Stewart's first five seasons of 1925-1930. Below is the Adjusted Goal scoring totals when each season's total is compared to a level of 6.00 league goals per game.
There you have it, Ovechkin's 269 in a low scoring era translates to 306, while Gretzky's 356 in a high scoring era drops to an even 300. As well, "Old Poison" Nels Stewart's 138 goals in 208 low scoring era games converts to the fourth greatest five year start to a career in NHL history.
Other somewhat unexpected names on the list are Boston's Marty Barry who's 100 actual goals in the early '30s adjusts to 206 and the enigmatic Ziggy Palffy who's 168 "dead puck late '90s era" goals adjust to just over 200. Also, often forgotten Hall of Famer Cooney Weiland scored 109 goals in his first five years which adjust to 213. 43 of his goals were scored in 44 games in 1929/30 in one of the greatest seasons in NHL history. Projected to 82 games and a neutral 6.00 G/GP his 74 adjusted goals ranks as the fifth highest season in NHL history.
Back to Ovie, not only are his 306 adjusted goals the greatest start in history, it is also the fourth most adjusted goals in any five year period of a career. Only Brett Hull's incredible run in the early '90s, Phil Esposito's groundbreaking run in the early '70s and Gretz's 3rd through 7th seasons produced more adjusted goals.