Thunderbirds acquire Luke Prokop’s WHL rights from Oil Kings

Members of the Edmonton Oil Kings celebrate their overtime-win against the Saint John Sea Dogs during Memorial Cup hockey action in Saint John, N.B. on Wednesday, June 22, 2022. (Darren Calabrese/CP)

The Seattle Thunderbirds acquired defenceman Luke Prokop’s Western Hockey League playing rights from the Edmonton Oil Kings on Tuesday.

20-year-old Prokop was drafted by the Nashville Predators in the third round (73rd overall) at the 2020 NHL Draft and signed an entry-level deal with the team just a few months later.

The trade sees the Oil Kings receive a conditional first-round pick in the 2025 WHL Prospects Draft and a conditional third-round pick in both 2023 and 2025.

With Prokop currently playing at the professional level with the Norfolk Admirals of the ECHL, the Oil Kings will only receive their end of the trade if he’s sent back down to junior hockey. The blue liner has appeared in three games with the Admirals so far this season.

“The Edmonton Oil Kings would like to thank Luke Prokop for all his contributions to the Oil Kings organization over the past season,” said the team’s president of hockey operations and general manager, Kirt Hill.

“This deal will give Luke the opportunity to join one of the top teams in the WHL this season and potentially go on another long playoff run if he happens to be sent back from pro hockey. Luke will forever be a part of the Oil Kings family and will remain a huge part of the community in Edmonton.”

Prokop was a part of Edmonton’s 2022 WHL Championship run after he joined the team in Oct. 2021 following a trade from the Calgary Hitmen. Over the course of the 2021-22 season, he recorded 11 goals and 24 assists in 58 games. The Oil Kings’ year eventually ended when they fell to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the Ontario Hockey League in round-robin play at the 2022 Memorial Cup.

Off the ice, Prokop made history when he became the first openly gay hockey player signed to an NHL contract in July 2021. As a trailblazer in sport for the LGBTQ2S+ community and mentor — on top of creating the Shots for Impact Program in support of Kids Help Phone — Prokop was named the CHL Humanitarian of the Year.

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