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.
He was drafted by the Oilers in the seventh round in 2010.