Jun 16 2013, 11:53pm CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
The official NHL website featured the update on June 15. The news of Pelss' death comes after previous reports that he had gone missing in his native country of Latvia. The Edmonton Oilers released an update on his passing.
"The Edmonton Oilers are deeply saddened by the loss of Kristians Pelss, a young man who played in our organization. Kristians had gone missing earlier in the week after returning home to Riga, Latvia, for the offseason. Exact details in regards to what led to this tragedy remain unclear. He was just 20 years old."
Pelss was believed to have drowned after reports of a man diving into the Daugava River were released. Oilers general manager Craig MacTavish said in a statement that Pelss was an outstanding young man and that the organization is extending its condolences to his family and friends.
"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. On behalf of everyone working at the Oilers, Oil Kings and our affilate teams, as well as all of our fans, I offer our most sincere and deepest condolences to his family and friends. Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with them as they work through this incredibly difficult time."
According to ESPN, local media reported that Pelss jumped off a bridge in central Riga and into the Daugava River. Rescue services spokeswoman Viktorija Sembele said her department recevied a call at 1:40 a.m. on Tuesday regarding the incident.
Police spokesman Tom Sadovskis said on Friday police had "suspicions" the man on the bridge had been Pelss, but declined to say why or give further information.
Pelss played for both the ECHL's Stockton Thunder and the AHL's Oklahoma City Barons this season. He was drafted by Edmonton in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL Draft. He had 42 goals and 41 assists in 126 regular-season games for the Oil Kings from 2010-12.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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