Gay NHL prospect Luke Prokop traded to Edmonton Oil Kings

Gay NHL prospect Luke Prokop was traded Wednesday from the Nashville Predators organization to a minor league team operated by the same group that owns the Edmonton Oilers.

Officially, Prokop has been traded from the Calgary Hitmen to the Edmonton Oil Kings. They play in the Western Hockey League. Prokop is from Edmonton.

Although the Predators drafted Prokop in 2020, he spent part of five seasons with the Hitmen. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Predators last December.

“The organization is really thrilled to welcome Luke to the Oil Kings,” said Kirt Hill, president of hockey operations and general manager of the Oil Kings, via the WHL. “Luke is a player we know well having played against him in our division for the past three seasons. We think he will bring great experience to our full back and that he is a player who can play big minutes for our squad.

Prokop, 19, became the first gay player to sign an NHL contract when he came out publicly in July. His announcement, which came about three weeks after Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, received broad support throughout the NHL.

In fact, Sir Elton John even called Prokop to congratulate him.

One of the most telling quotes surrounding Prokop’s coming out came from Predators defenseman Mark Borowiecki, who said he didn’t think there could have been a gay player outside of the NHL when he was growing up.

The 32-year-old has noticed how the world of hockey has changed.

“To see this sport play where a young man feels comfortable enough to do it, I think it’s great,” Borowiecki said, via NHL.com. “I think it’s the growth of our sport. I think it’s the growth of all sports in general. Sport has to be a safe space for everyone, and hockey has to go hand in hand with that. “

Prokop said he didn’t hear any homosexual slurs from his teammates when he attended the Predators 2021 development camp.

Still a teenager, it could be some time before Prokop plays in the NHL – if he gets the chance. Until then, he’ll be living that life of minor-league hockey, which includes being traded on a whim.

But at least Prokop will be able to perform in front of his family and friends all winter long. This season promises to be a homecoming.

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