Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander confirmed Wednesday morning that he hasn’t yet been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Obviously you can see I have a mask on,” Nylander said. “I’m not fully vaccinated yet. I had a couple [of] medical things I had [to] take care of. I’ll be fully vaccinated by the beginning of the season.”
Nylander did not disclose any further details on the delay in getting vaccinated, or whether he was spending his offseason in his home country of Sweden.
Currently, Sweden has an estimated 65.6% of their population fully vaccinated (per Reuters), similar to Canada’s fully vaccinated rate of 68.6%.
However, Nylander said he chose to get vaccinated in order to help the team.
“I just wanted to do the right thing. I think being vaccinated is gonna help everybody, help the team and achieve our end goal. It was [a] pretty easy choice,” Nylander said.
NHL commissioner Bill Daly said last week the league expects about 98% of its players to be vaccinated, with stricter protocols (including frequent mask-wearing) being required for unvaccinated players.
Nylander added that his lack of being fully vaccinated wouldn’t affect his on-ice status in training camp.
Other players, including John Tavares, Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, Jake Muzzin, Jack Campbell, and Petr Mrazek, appeared at the podium without a mask, presumably confirming their full vaccination status. Head coach Sheldon Keefe and general manager Kyle Dubas also appeared maskless in front of reporters.