(WB) In an Instagram post Monday, Nashville Predator prospect Luke Prokop announced that he is gay.

His announcement was applauded by the National Hockey League’s Commissioner Gary Bettman who said in part, "I want to thank him for sharing his truth and being so brave.” Prokop is the first active NHL player under contract to come out.

The 19-year-old 6 foot 4-inch defenseman player is originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and has played the past four seasons with the Western Hockey League before the Predators selected him as the 73rd overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft.

“While the past year and a half has been crazy, it has also given me the chance to find my true self,” Prokop wrote. “I am no longer scared to hide who I am. Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay.

“It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I could not be happier with my decision to come out. From a young age I have dreamed of being an NHL player, and I believe that living my authentic life will allow me to bring my whole self to the rink and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams.”

“The Nashville Predators organization is proud of Luke for the courage he is displaying in coming out today and we will support him unequivocally in the days, weeks, and years to come as he continues to develop as a prospect,” the team tweeted.