Luke Prokop, the first and only gay athlete ever to be part of an NHL franchise, has had a very successful couple of years in the Nashville Predators program.

A year after coming out as gay, in 2022 he won the Western Hockey League championship with the Edmonton Oil Kings. He was sent to the Seattle Thunderbirds the next season and earlier this spring won his second Western Hockey League title with his second team in two years.

The accomplishment was not lost on Prokop:

He’s scored 54 goals in 98 appearances for those two clubs.

With those two successful seasons under his belt, Prokop is hoping to be invited to Predators training camp in September.

According to Paul Skrbina at The Tennesseean, he has a shot. There are, according to Skrbina, multiple roster spots open with the Predators, as well as their AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals. The AHL is a step between the WHL and NHL.

“Maybe last year I took it for granted,” Prokop told The Tennesseean. “Going into the summer I thought I was going to be playing in the American League. … It was a tough pill. I thought I played really well. There wasn’t really much more I could do. They had older guys kind of set in the lineup.”

Prokop was a participant in the Predators’ Development Camp both last summer and this past week. That camp is for the club’s top prospects and included 35 players this year.

While the NHL front office has become an utter disaster on LGBTQ visibility and issues, and problematic language in hockey locker rooms is well-documented, Prokop has said repeatedly he has found strong support from the Predators, and he’s experienced virtually no issues from other players.

He’s expected to get every chance to make those rosters.

Neither the NHL nor AHL has ever had an active — or retired, for that matter — player or coach come out publicly as gay.

Prokop has already broken ground as the rare out professional hockey player in North America. Brock McGillis came out publicly after retiring as a player and has since worked to build a culture in hockey that feels more welcoming to LGBTQ people.

Here’s hoping Prokop breaks more ground this upcoming season.