EDMONTON, Alberta — The Edmonton Oilers have confirmed that prospect Kristians Pelss has died. He was 20.
The Oilers released a statement Saturday saying the team was deeply saddened by the loss of Pelss, who went missing Tuesday and was feared drowned in a river near his home in Riga, Latvia.
Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said in a statement: “This is the news we feared. Kristians was an outstanding man, and we feel terrible he has left us at such a young age. I can't imagine how painful this situation is for the Pelss family.”
Pelss arrived home in Riga on Monday after playing last season with Edmonton's top minor league team, the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. In 20 games with the Barons, the left winger scored one goal with seven assists in his first pro season. In two seasons with the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL, he combined to score 42 goals and 83 points in 126 games.
Pelss was drafted by the Oilers in the seventh round in 2010.