Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler isolating in Minnesota after testing positive for COVID-19
All team members fully vaccinated, rest have tested negative ahead of Tuesday's game against Minnesota Wild
Winnipeg Jets captain Blake Wheeler has tested positive for COVID-19 after entering the NHL's pandemic protocols the day prior, the team confirmed on Tuesday.
He is symptomatic for the disease and will be isolating in Minnesota, rather than returning to Winnipeg to carry out his quarantine, Scott Brown, the senior director for hockey communications for the Jets said in an email.
At this time, the rest of the team has tested negative for COVID-19, Brown added.
Wheeler shared late last month that all of the Jets are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Jets are set to face off against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night, and Wheeler won't be in the lineup.
"Obviously, it sucks for him and all that you hope is that he's feeling fine and he comes back feeling good," said Mark Schiefele in an interview posted to the Jets' Twitter account.
"Losing a guy like that is always tough, but you need guys to step up in that situation and we've got the guys to do it. We all have to rally together and step up tonight."
Head coach Paul Maurice says the team is trying to keep their eye on the prize.
"I think we focus on just today, the guys that are playing kind of on an off day. Then we'll make sure he gets lots of phone calls as soon as he's feeling 100 per cent, then we'll give him a hard time about it for sure," he said.
Wheeler, 35, has played in both of Winnipeg's two games so far this season, picking up an assist.
The Jets are set to play their home opener on Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks.