June 15, 2013, Edmonton, AB (ISN) – The Edmonton Oil Kings 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 off-season. Exact details in regards to what led to this tragedy remain unclear. He was just 20 years old.
“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. “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 affiliate 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.”
After being drafted by the Oilers in the 7th round in 2010, Kristians continued to show great promise as a player with the Oil Kings and then the Oilers minor league affiliates in Oklahoma City and Stockton. Pelss was the Oil Kings first round pick (19th Overall) in the 2010 CHL Import Draft and was selected by the Edmonton Oilers in the 7th round also in 2010. During the speedy forwards two seasons with the Oil Kings, Kristians compiled 42 goals and 42 assists in 126 regular season games. During the Oil Kings 2011-12 Championship season, he contributed with 28 goals in just 63 games and added another 10 points in 17 playoff games en route to an Ed Chynoweth Cup Championship.