Jesse Ylönen was one of the interesting prospects at this beginner camp in Montreal Canadiens. Round two pick (35th place) in the 2018 draft, the Finn may have been hoping to knock on the big club’s door after a season of 17 points (9 goals, 8 assists) in 29 games last year, with Laval’s rocket.
But Yelonin had already hit a wall. Right wing refused to vaccinate against COVID-19. If the vaccine remains a personal choice, this decision could seriously complicate the life of the young hockey player.
Since the beginning of the junior camp, Yleonen has not yet worn a confinement uniform. Laval Rocket coach Jean-Francois Hall has been left aside for the two games against the Ottawa Senators.
After losing 4-3 in this second game, Hall was walking on eggshells to talk about the Yelonen affair.
“We’ll manage this as best we can,” Holly said. We will respect what the NHL says, and we will follow protocols. It’s a personal decision for Ilonen.”
Since he did not receive two doses of the vaccine, Yelonin went into quarantine upon his arrival in Canada. He has completed his seclusion period, but has not skated enough in the past few days to wear his team’s uniform for the game.
It is up to the CEO to make the decision
From a simple logistical point of view, Ylonin’s location is very accurate. He may not get permission to travel to the United States. The Rocket will play 22 of the 72 games on US soil.
If the MLS leaders haven’t completely fine-tuned their COVID-19 protocol, the NHL leaders have already set up strict rules against unvaccinated players.
The NHL will allow unvaccinated players to play, but there will be many barriers in their way. If border restrictions prevent them from traveling or if they contract COVID-19 due to non-compliance with protocols, they will be suspended without pay.
In such a context, could Ylönen go through next season without receiving his vaccination? “I have no idea,” Hall replied. It will depend on what Mark Bergevin wants to do.”
Hall also explained that he did not have time to sit down with his young man whom he hoped to talk to.
“I haven’t spoken to him,” he said. It’s a personal choice.”
Rafaël Harvey-Pinard, another great CH hope in this camp, described Ylönen, a hockey player.
“It’s going to be a huge loss, we want to see it with us,” said Harvey Benard. Jesse is an influential player on the team. He has great offensive skills but also defensively. He’s a guy we use in all areas of the game. It would be important for him to be there for us.”
Lefebvre Affair in Columbus
In Columbus, the Blue Jackets released Sylvain Lefevre before camp began. Not being vaccinated for personal reasons, Lefebvre lost a three-year contract as Brad Larsen’s assistant. Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen has justified the dismissal of Lefebvre by his inability to fulfill his mandate as coach.
“We had to end our association because he couldn’t do his job,” Kekalinen told The Athletic. We need a coach. If you are not vaccinated, you cannot do your job Fitness Trainer. You can’t be in the changing room, you can’t be in the coaches room, you can’t be on the bench, you can’t be on the plane with us… We need a coach.”
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