Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss missing (updated)

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.

  • J.R.

    I hope this turns out to be false as well (obviously).

    If not – I can’t imagine the circumstances . My prayers and condolences to friends and family.

    I just stopped in to see what Taylor Hall ate for breakfast or some other summer hockey “news”…this is a rather sobering article. I’m hoping for the best.

    Sorry to see this.

  • J.R.

    As I passed along sincere condolences to the Pelss family I did then see that the Dallas stars just announced (NHL.com)that the NHL team has lost a kid draft prospect as well..Scott Winkler….23 yrs old.

    Do not know of the circumatances yet with this tragedy….

    This is definitely a bad sad day. Condolences to that family and to the Dallas Stars equally as much.

  • Milli


    “and whatever atmosphere you would like to promote is your business”

    How about an atmosphere of respect and maturity?

    We are not without humour here, but the original comment was terribly inappropriate. Maturity is knowing when to say something, and when to keep quiet. Apparently Shock&Awe and yourself have not reached that state yet. But you will.

    Good call JW.

  • J-Dogg

    I hope this isn’t true.

    I’ve kept a closer eye on Pelss than most other prospects. It would be great to see a kid taken so late in the draft and from a country that doesn’t graduate many of their nationals to the NHL make it.

    At this point though I’d be happy to hear he’s alive and well even if it meant never playing hockey again.

  • The Soup Fascist

    One other thing. I reread Staples report on the Journal website. The reports are that a young man leapt from the bridge. Are we making a leap ourselves that his goal was to harm himself or could this have been a reckless act of a young man that went wrong? I noted that Staples’ report indicated that his clothing was left on the bridge and looking at the bridge from the picture above it is not a crazy height. An ill-advised daredevil act may also have been what occurred.

    I am not saying this is what happened, only that there could be other explanations than an alleged suicide. I realize the outcome is the same – tragic. But we all should likely let things play out and in time the truth will come out.

    No matter what the circumstance, this is a very sad day that a young man (whether he was a hockey player or not) appears lost.

  • smiliegirl15

    Having such sketchy information and being unable to contact him for days doesn’t bode well for this story. I pray for his safe return to his family. So sad.

    Thank you Jonathan for removing said comments. They were shockingly inappropriate. I would hardly call it bringing humour into a situation. There was nothing funny about it at all. Glad I missed the second one. The inital comment was worthy of deletion but to follow it up, good call on the ban. We may not have a policy here in that regard as you’ve said, but his mother would have smacked him upside the head.

    Conduct yourself each day as if that was the way you will always be remembered. I’m paraphrasing something I read not too long ago but the message was a very good one. The internet and this website doesn’t just exist in Edmonton. Some people would do well to remember that.

  • J-Dogg

    Weird circumstances surround the whole situation, which I’m sure makes it that much harder for the people who are friends/family to the young man.

    Can only hope this is bad journalism (on the part of the Latvian press) and that he is safe, and will soon be with him family again.

  • paul wodehouse

    Q…didn’t see what u said my friend…
    i’m guessing over the line and in that only you could say it poor taste again?

    Eleven years ago today my son Jordan was killed by a drunk driver in the U.S.

    He was 19

    please. if you can . light a candle at seven p.m. your time zone and say peace out Jordan

    many thanks and here’s my vote to have Quicksilver Ballet back on these boards when JW decides that it’s time.

    many prayers to the Pelss family…

  • 719

    This is when you need to get on a plane to Riga and find out what is actually fact. Apparently they have now removed anything being confirmed and it is just suspected.

    But actual informaton in Latvia is very minimal no real conclusions can be made.

    But my gut tells me it is probably true.

    • I recall him saying sometimes his medication plays havoc on him sometimes,.

      Not making excuses for him, or trying to speak for him, but speaking of experience of watching what western medication can do to people.

      Usually he’s a joker and in good humour.

      Thought are with you young Pelss.

  • Craig1981

    And I wouldn’t disrepect a single person out of those 25 who passed yesterday.
    And no, I feel for people who felt so terrible they took their own life. I have known more than 1 person you took their life and not once did I speak poor of them. Extreme depression is a terrible disese you or I might not be able to understand, which means we shoudn’t judge it.