The Boston Bruins signed Danton Heinen to a one-year deal Monday afternoon.

It was just hours later, in a victory over the Florida Panthers at TD Garden, that the 28-year-old found himself on the ice during Pavel Zacha’s game-winning goal in overtime.

If coming off the street and playing nine minutes seems like a quick turnaround, it’s because it would have been. Heinen didn’t come off the street, though.

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Heinen was signed to a professional tryout agreement on Sept. 5, spending training camp with the Bruins but ultimately missing out on a contract prior to the start of the regular season. He stuck around, though, travelling with Boston in preparation for an opportunity that would inevitably come.

“I think that’s what I’ve been trying to do, is see the way that we play and learn the system, so that if I get the chance, I’ll be ready,” Heinen said Monday, per Jim McBride of The Boston Globe. “I think (the press level is) a good place to do it and get a bird’s eye view, but it gives you a little different perspective. It also makes you hungrier and you want to be out there with them.”

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Heinen watched the Bruins’ first eight games, taking things in from high above the ice as he waited for a spot to open up. He’s also been at every practice, skate and community event, taking in the experience of being a Bruin once again. A spot eventually did come available, with Milan Lucic and Jakub Lauko hitting the shelf and freeing things up for the Canadian’s official Boston return.

“It’s been a little different, but everyone’s been great with me, and it’s been fun to be here and be a part of it and watch these guys win games,” Heinen said. “It’s a great group and a group you want to be a part of.”

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He’ll be part of it for the time being, as Boston has done plenty of roster shuffling over the first few weeks of the season.

Featured image via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images