SASKATOON -- An NHL prospect coming out as gay on Monday is a "big cause for celebration," OUTSaskatoon director Amanda Guthrie says.

"The significance of today is that it shows other young boys or other men who are either currently NHL players or maybe looking to make their way into the NHL that it's possible to be gay," she said.

Luke Prokop, a 19-year-old Canadian who was a third-round pick in the 2020 draft last fall, came out in a message to Twitter on Monday:

“It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my life, but I cannot be happier with my decision to come out,” he said. “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 improve my chances for filling my dreams.”

Saskatoon Blades president and general manger Colin Priestner says a player coming out is long overdue.

“It’s exciting that we’re getting to a place where a guy can do that and it’s not so much controversial, it’s just celebrated,” said Priestner.

No active NHL player has come out as gay.

Guthrie says the NHL and NFL have initiatives to create space for queer people to feel safe but Prokop's announcement provides more space for queer people to enjoy the game.

With CTV News files