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Edmonton Oilers confirm death of prospect Kristians Pelss in Latvia

Saturday, 06.15.2013 / 3:55 PM / News

The Canadian Press

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Edmonton Oilers confirm death of prospect Kristians Pelss in Latvia

EDMONTON - The Edmonton Oilers have confirmed that prospect Kristians Pelss has died. He was 20.

The Oilers released a statement on 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.

Local media had reported that Pelss jumped off a bridge and into the fast-flowing Daugava River.

"This is the news we feared. Kristians was an outstanding man and we feel terrible he has left us at such a young age," said Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish in a statement. "I can't imagine how painful this situation is for the Pelss family."

The club added that "details in regards to what led to this tragedy remain unclear."

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.

He was drafted by the Oilers in the 7th round in 2010.

Quote of the Day

It's pretty crazy, but believe me when I say we didn't draft these players with the mindset we had to because they had good hockey-playing dads. It just turned out that way. But we're certainly glad they're a part of our organization.

— Arizona Coyotes director of amateur scouting Tim Bernhardt regarding the coincidence that six of the organization's top prospects are sons of former NHL players