Do the Edmonton Oilers have something in Kristian Pelss? Will he score enough to have a pro career? Can he make the NHL?

Several years ago, the Edmonton Oilers drafted Kyle Brodziak in the deep dark recesses (214th overall) of the draft, and it paid off (although they dealt him too soon). Brodziak was drafted in 2003, turned pro in 2004 and became an NHL regular in 2007 fall. Brodziak worked his way past a mile of first rounders with hard work on the penalty kill and at evens, and made himself into a useful NHL player during 173 AHL games.

His first AHL season? 56, 6-26-32 .571, no screaming hell.

Three years ago in June, the Edmonton Oilers drafted Kristians Pelss in the deep dark recesses (181st overall) of the draft, and it might pay off down the line. Pelss was drafted in 2010, turned pro in 2012 and became an AHL regular when all the NHL players left Dodge City.

Pelss is 14, 0-6-6 .429 since his recall from Stockton.


  • Stu MacGregor: “Now, he’s interesting. I think he could fit into the Oilers plans in a role as a high energy guy who can skate. I was at the World U-18 with Oil Kings general manager Bob Green when we both saw the kid. Frank Musil did some clandestine work to see if he’d come over to play for the Oil Kings. Knowing that, I figured ‘Let’s take a swing at this guy.’ We even had to add him to the Central Scouting draft list so we could pick him. When you do that he only appears on your list.”
  • Todd Nelson: “He’s way more responsible defensively that I gave him credit for. He has tremendous speed but part of his game that I didn’t know he had was his grit. He has to play and get the minutes but I think he has an opportunity to be a third- or fourth-line penalty-kill role player in the NHL.”


The heart of the 2010 draft is spending the season in OKC. Second rounders Tyler Pitlick, Martin Marincin and Curtis Hamilton are getting the majority of the attention (good and bad), but guys like Ryan Martindale and Kristians Pelss are developing and earning playing time.

Kristians Pelss is a gritty, 2-way forward with some offensive ability and he is posting numbers in the AHL. Pelss is a long shot for the NHL, but so was Brodziak.

He’s a name to remember.

  • a lg dubl dubl

    I hope Pelss can make it, Oilers are going to need a player or 3 like him in the bottom 6 once the likes of Horcoff, Belanger, and Smyth ride off into the sunset. Plus I always liked a really late pick making it to the nhl on hard work.

    I still think the line of Brodziak, Glencross, and Stortini was one of the better 4th lines the Oilers put together in ages.

  • Samivan01

    Vancouver media are such arrogant pric-s. I grew up in Edmonton but moved to Vancouver. The oilers are my team. I know they aren’t the best team right now but I hope they improve quickly. I was listening to team 1040 sports station in Vancouver and was shocked at how cocky they are. They we’re bragging how the Canucks had already locked up the division at the13 game mark. They started to slag the oilers,flames and wild by calling the division a’craphole’. I want to punch those mealy mouthed little wimps so bad. Anyways, how about someone passing this onto the oilers website so they can get angry for their next canucks game?

  • a lg dubl dubl

    Reminds me of a Pat Hughes/Todd Marchant kinda player. Has the wheels,the skill and the grit to be the same kind of player. More likely we see Pelss than Hamilton. Pelss has game. When he was with the Oil Kings he had some moments where you would say Oh My! definitely has NHL caliber speed. Needs to pound the weight room. Like any young man it takes time to put on weight/muscle. Look at RNH. I’ve got a dog with more meat on its bones than RNH has. But when time and physical maturity finally meet RNH should fill out to a plump 180 lbs. Time is what Pelss will need to grow s a player. He needs at least 2 more seasons in the AHL to get that maturity and then we’ll see him lighting up the penalty kill and 3rd-4th line minutes.

  • Phixieus666

    I tend to forget about him until I see him play. I’ve seen him in about 10 games now and he has played with consistent effort, won puck battles, and not looked bad offensively. It’s a big jump from the A but he’s a good hockey player, so I can absolutely see it happening.

  • Phixieus666

    Didn’t SMB once dub him his “little Latvian ball of hate”? There is always room in the line up for that gritty PK role if he can make/take a pass. Kinda sounds like he’ll be Petrell version 2.0

  • Phixieus666

    Pretty interesting that this guy was so off the board that the Oilers had to actually get his name added to the CSS board. I’m all for an underdog story and there is certainly room for turnover in our bottom 6 in the next few seasons.