Winnipeg Jets star Mark Scheifele enters NHL COVID-19 protocols

Mark Scheifele has been moved into the NHL’s COVID protocols just hours before the Winnipeg Jets are set to drop the puck on their home opener for the NHL’s 2021-22 season.

The Jets announced the decision via Twitter on Thursday morning, two days after team captain Blake Wheeler tested positive for COVID-19 and one month after Wheeler told reporters that all of the Jets are fully vaccinated.

Scheifele’s situation now means two-thirds of the Jets’ top forward line is out for Thursday’s game against the visiting Anaheim Ducks.

There is no word yet on who will be moved up to join Kyle Connor on the first line.

Wheeler, rather than returning to Winnipeg to carry out his quarantine, is isolating in Minnesota, where he is from. The team was there earlier in the week for a game against the Wild when he became symptomatic.

When Wheeler’s diagnosis was revealed on Tuesday, the Jets’ senior communications director said the rest of the team had tested negative.

The team has said nothing further about Scheifele, the 28-year-old alternate captain.

However, a news release was sent to media Thursday to say the media room inside the Jets’ home arena, where players and coaches meet with reporters, has been closed until further notice.

All media availabilities following morning skates, games and practices are now being held via Zoom video conferencing.

Scheifele has two points — both assists — in the two games he has played so far this season. He missed the first one to finish a suspension handed down at the end of last season.

The Jets are still looking for their first win of 2021-22. They lost the first two in regulation and the most recent one, against the Wild, in overtime.

The Jets sit in 29th spot in the 32-team league.