Luke Prokop is on the move again. The NHL prospect who publicly came out as gay last year got traded Tuesday from the Edmonton Oil Kings to the Seattle Thunderbirds.
But the Oil Kings didn’t let him go without a fitting farewell. They created an emotional tribute video for Prokop, who was born in Edmonton.
The video features highlights from Prokop’s season and the Oil Kings’ championship run. They defeated Seattle for the WHL title, and Prokop enjoyed a career year.
“I may be seen as a pioneer in my community now and a little bit of a public figure,” says Prokop in the video. “But I enjoy the moments I get when I can connect with people on social media just to kind of exchange ideas and be here for them if they need it”
Forever grateful to the @EdmOilKings for taking me on an unbelievable journey. So many memories and friendships were made which made it my favourite year of hockey. Thank you EOK #THEKINGDOM https://t.co/19LE63eIfE— luke prokop (@lukeprokop_6) October 25, 2022
Prokop’s current status is a little convoluted, but a loyal Outsports reader and diehard hockey fan helped us figure it out. The Nashville Predators, who selected Prokop in the third round of the 2020 NHL Draft, still control the defensemen’s NHL rights, despite the trade.
Here’s where it gets confusing: Prokop is currently playing with the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL, a mid-level pro hockey league. The Oil Kings and Thunderbirds are in the WHL, which is considered a junior league.
So what did the Thunderbirds acquire? They acquired Prokop’s WHL rights, meaning he’ll only play for them if he gets sent back down to junior hockey.
Early this year, Prokop was ranked as the No. 20 prospect in Nashville’s system.
But he remains No. 1 in the hearts of the people of Edmonton. There’s a video to show for it.