Scott Clemmensen, 43, delivers the same message to the Devils' collection of prospects every summer at the club's rookie development camp. Though the Devils' director of Goaltending Development mostly addresses his young netminders, the words reverberate around the room.
"The message that I have to everyone," he said, "and I draw on my own experience with this but even the Devils themselves are a good example, in this locker room we have first-round picks, second-, third-, fourth-, seventh-round picks, we have free agents that weren't picked at all, and invitees that weren't picked at all.
"I can tell you this, it doesn't matter where you were picked. Someone else might have more ability than you but if you work and you're able to adapt and you can work your way up, you can be better. You can take someone's job. Even if they're a first-rounder, you can take their job."
Clemmensen, who has been instrumental in the development of New Jersey goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood, isn't just preaching. At one point in life, he was in the choir.