Luke Prokop, a prospect for the Nashville Predators, came out as gay on Monday in an Instagram post, making him the National Hockey League's (NHL) first openly gay player.

“Today I am proud to publicly tell everyone that I am gay,” Prokop, 19, said in the post.

Prokop, who is from Edmonton, Canada, played four seasons with the Western Hockey League before the Predators selected him in last year's NHL Draft.

“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,” 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 and improve my chances of fulfilling my dreams.”

Prokop said that his family, friends, and agents were aware of his sexuality and met him “with love and support every step of the way.”

“This is just the beginning of my journey and I am excited to see where it takes me, both in hockey and in life,” he concluded.

In a tweet, the team congratulated Prokop.

“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 said.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman also supported Prokop.

“I want to thank him for sharing his truth and being so brave,” Bettman said in a statement.