HELSINKI — William Nylander will not play for Sweden when it faces Canada on Thursday in the preliminary round of the world junior hockey championship.
He hasn’t played since Switzerland’s Chris Egli levelled him with a bodycheck to the upper body in a game last Saturday. Nylander was supposed to address the media on Thursday morning but his news conference was cancelled after its scheduled start time.
Instead, Sweden’s team doctor told reporters that the team hopes Nylander will play later in the tournament.
“He’s feeling fine but, unfortunately, we made a late decision about him not attending this media session,” said Dr. Per Adolf Bergsten. “We called this press conference to clear things up a bit but unfortunately we decided late that we would like to protect him a bit (from the attention.)”
The Toronto Maple Leafs prospect leads the American Hockey League in scoring and had a goal on his first shot at the world juniors. Egli was suspended three games for the hit.
“We have said before that he will hopefully play more in this tournament,” Bergsten added. “But we will take it day to day and see how it progresses with his rehabilitation.”
The doctor refused to discuss the symptoms of Nylander’s suspected concussion. He did acknowledge that the Maple Leafs medical staff had been consulted on Nylander’s case and had provided his baseline testing files.
Sweden and Canada will both advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament on Jan. 2. Their opponents have yet to be determined.