Normally, Nashville Predator prospect Luke Prokop doesn't take calls from unlisted phone numbers, but when an unidentified caller from France popped up on his phone earlier this week, the first out player signed to an NHL contract definitely took the call.
After all, how often does the legendary Elton John call to say hello and offer his congratulations?
"It was really cool for someone to do that kind of really outside of the hockey world," Prokop explained to NHL.com. "To see someone that big, that famous, who has a humungous impact on the LGBTQ+ community to reach out and phone me and thank me for being brave and coming out and being able to help kids going through what I went through and allowing them to have someone to look up to, in a sense. He thanked me for that."
Much as he has his entire hockey career, from starring as a junior player to signing his first NHL contract with the team of his childhood idol, fellow defenseman Shea Weber (who now plays for the Montreal Canadians), Prokop took the call in stride.
"We just had a really good conversation," Prokop said. "He congratulated me, just asked me how the day was, how the support was, and then he thanked me for being brave and coming out. It was a really cool conversation."
One person who wasn't as calm was Prokop's mother, who was in the room while her son was on the phone with Elton.
"I was like, 'Mom, you'll never guess who phoned me,'" Prokop said. "'Mom, that was Elton John.' She started screaming, like, 'What?' She almost started breaking down. She was probably more excited for me than I was for myself to get that call."
Prokop was drafted in the third round of the 2020 NHL draft by Nashville. He's received a good deal of attention and has a good shot of sticking around in the competitive league. He revealed he still hasn't fully processed everything that has happened to him since signing his first NHL contract, including taking calls from hall of fame LGBTQ+ rock stars.
"I don't think I'll ever truly understand how cool that was and how important that was that he called me," Prokop admitted, before later adding, "It's been probably the best 10 days of my life."