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Oil Kings defenceman Prokop named 2021-22 WHL Humanitarian of the Year

Calgary, Alta. – The Western Hockey League announced today Nashville Predators prospect Luke Prokop of the Edmonton Oil Kings has been named WHL Humanitarian of the Year for 2021-22.

The Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy presented by Westland Insurance, is awarded annually to the WHL Humanitarian of the Year.

Prokop inspired the hockey community and the LGBTQ2S+ community in a ground-breaking way on July 19, 2021 when he came out as the first openly gay player signed to an NHL contract. Since then, the Edmonton-born Prokop has worked tirelessly to fight for inclusion in hockey and across sport.

A strong advocate for the Kids Help Phone, Prokop believes in this vital service as a support mechanism for youth in the LGBTQ2S+ community. In an effort to put his support behind the Kids Help Phone, Prokop established the Shots for Impact program, donating $10 for each of his shots on goal this season and securing matching donations from the Edmonton Oil Kings, Nashville Predators, and Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation.

“I’m honoured to accept this award this year,” Prokop said. “I’d like to thank my family and friends who have helped support me throughout this season, my teammates in Edmonton, who have been awesome, as well as Kids Help Phone. They’re one of the major reasons why I created this initiative – I can’t thank them enough.”

Prokop played a vital role in the development of the Edmonton Oil Kings first ever Pride Day Game, hosted on April 9 at Rogers Place. As a part of the celebrations for this day, Prokop developed a working partnership with Bauer Hockey to have custom skates made with Pride colours.

“On behalf of Westland Insurance Group, I’d like to thank Luke for everything he has done to champion inclusion in hockey,” said Cari Watson, Senior Vice President, Marketing Client Experience. “Your confidence and bravery in coming out to your family, your friends, and your teammates is truly commendable. Sharing your story with so many others to inspire them to be more inclusive and to feel comfortable sharing their whole self is a powerful way to drive change in hockey, sport in general, and in our communities. Thank you for all of the work you have done, and continue to do, in driving change, and for being a role model for others.”

Prokop is the second Oil King to win the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy as WHL Humanitarian of the Year. Former Oil Kings defenceman Will Warm was named WHL Humanitarian of the Year for the 2018-19 season.

On the ice, the 6-foot-5, 220-pound defenceman has enjoyed his best WHL season with the Oil Kings, recording career bests in goals (11), assists (24), points (35), plus-minus (38), and shots on goal (134).

He has been a stalwart on the blueline through the WHL’s Eastern Conference Championship, registering 10 points (2G-8A) in 13 games for the Oil Kings.

The 2022 WHL Awards were voted on by WHL General Managers and members of the media.

WHL Humanitarian of the Year Nominees
B.C. Division – Logan Stankoven (Kamloops, B.C.) – Kamloops Blazers|
East Division – Conor Geekie (Strathclair, Man.) – Winnipeg ICE
U.S. Division – Graham Sward (Abbotsford, B.C.) – Spokane Chiefs

The 2022 WHL Awards were voted on by WHL General Managers and members of the media.

Winners of the Doug Wickenheiser Memorial Trophy (since 2002)
2021-22: Luke Prokop, Edmonton Oil Kings
2020-21: Not presented due to COVID-19
2019-20: Riley Fiddler-Schultz, Calgary Hitmen
2018-19: Will Warm, Edmonton Oil Kings
2017-18: Ty Ronning, Vancouver Giants
2016-17: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes *
2015-16: Tyler Wong, Lethbridge Hurricanes
2014-15: Taylor Vickerman, Tri-City Americans
2013-14: Sam Fioretti, Moose Jaw Warriors *
2012-13: Cody Sylvester, Calgary Hitmen
2011-12: Taylor Vause, Swift Current Broncos
2010-11: Spencer Edwards, Moose Jaw Warriors *
2009-10: Matt Fraser, Kootenay ICE
2008-09: Taylor Procyshen, Tri-City Americans
2007-08: Ashton Hewson, Prince Albert Raiders
2006-07: Kyle Moir, Swift Current Broncos
2005-06: Wacey Rabbit, Saskatoon Blades
2004-05: Colin Fraser, Red Deer Rebels *
2003-04: Braydon Coburn, Portland Winterhawks
2002-03: Ryan Craig, Brandon Wheat Kings *
2001-02: Brandin Cote, Spokane Chiefs *

* = named CHL recipient

About the Western Hockey League
Regarded as the world’s finest development league for junior hockey players, the Western Hockey League (WHL) head office is based in Calgary, Alberta. The WHL consists of 22 member Clubs with 17 located in Western Canada and five in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. A member of the Canadian Hockey League, the WHL has been a leading supplier of talent for the National Hockey League for over 50 years. The WHL is also the leading provider of hockey scholarships with over 375 graduates each year receiving WHL Scholarships to pursue a post-secondary education of their choice. Each season, WHL players also form the nucleus of Canada’s National Junior Hockey Team.

 

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