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Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss' body pulled from Latvian river

Latvia's Kristians Pelss during warm up against Team Czech Republic during the 2012 IIHF World...

Latvia's Kristians Pelss during warm up against Team Czech Republic during the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship pre-tournament game at Centennial Arena in 2011. (DARREN MAKOWICHUK/CALGARY SUN/QMI AGENCY)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:51 PM ET

A body pulled from the Daugava River in Latvia on Friday was that of Edmonton Oilers prospect Kristians Pelss, the team confirmed Saturday.

“This is the news we feared,” 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 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 difficult time.”

Pelss, who also played for the WHL’s Edmonton Oil Kings, was reported missing.

He drowned in his hometown Riga, Latvia, according to Latvian news website Apollo.

The 20-year-old arrived in Latvia on Monday and had reportedly not been in contact with family or fellow players. A missing persons report had been requested by Pelss’s family.

On Thursday, a man was reported to to have jumped into the Daugava River. Clothing was later discovered, but no body.

The Oilers picked Pelss in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL draft. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Oilers in May 2012. He split the 2012-13 season between Oklahoma City of the AHL and Stockton of the ECHL.


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