June 13 2013 11:25AM
Kristians Pelss, a 2010 Oilers draft pick, is missing in his home country of Latvia, with one Latvian news source reporting that he is dead – a report that has yet to be independently verified .
Arturs Vaiders, a reporter with an outlet in Latvia, appears (via Google Translate) to say he has confirmed information that the 20-year old Oilers prospect drowned under unexplained circumstances:
I have just returned from North America was one of the most talented young Latvian hockey players. He has died so far and still unexplained circumstances. Information that he has drowned and unfortunately this information is confirmed.
The police and state rescue service are quoted in the report as verifying that a man jumped into the Daugava River from the Stone Bridge in Riga, Latvia (pictured below), but declined to identify the man as Pelss or say whether that person had been found, dead or alive.
Pelss spent the 2012-13 season in the minors, playing for the Oilers affiliates in Oklahoma and Stockton. He was playing under a two-way entry-level contract that ran until 2015.
UPDATE. There have been various Twitter reports claiming that the family of Pelss disputes the report that Pelss is dead; the following comes from a Russian news agency:
This story will be further updated once more details emerge. In the meantime, Oilers Nation reminds our readers that information is sketchy, and the initial report that Pelss drowned has yet to be confirmed. Even if that report turns out to be accurate on the principle facts, the exact details of what happened are unknown. We also strongly encourage commenters to show respect for Pelss and his family at this difficult time.