Either it was a glimpse into the future or just a brief streak of good fortune.
Whatever the case, 22-year-old forward James van Riemsdyk parlayed a strong playoff performance into a six-year contract extension with the Philadelphia Flyers.
The deal, announced Tuesday by the Flyers, is worth a reported $25.5 million, with an annual salary cap hit of $4.25 million.
"I couldn't be happier, obviously," van Riemsdyk said. "Over the two years I've been here, and even prior to that when I was with the organization, I've seen how well they treat their players and how highly everyone around it talks about it. (Now) I've seen that first-hand.
"When these talks of an extension started to come up, that was in the back of my mind, and I knew this was the place I really wanted to be."
Van Riemsdyk, the Flyers' first-round pick in 2007, had 21 goals and 19 assists in 75 games during the 2010-11 regular season but broke out in the playoffs. He had seven goals in 11 playoff games, tied for the team lead, but all came in a dominant, eight-game stretch to show why he went second overall in the draft.
"I don't really think contracts come into play when it comes to taking more responsibility," he said. "I was ready for that opportunity and challenge coming into this season, so now it's just up to me to go out there and play and do the things I like to do out there."
Van Riemsdyk, who was set to become a restricted free agent after the 2011-12 season, will be counted on heavily to continue what he started in the playoffs with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter no longer in the Flyers mix.
Richards was traded to the Los Angeles Kings while Carter was dealt to the Columbus Blue Jackets.