MOSCOW, June 14 (R-Sport) - National Hockey League franchise the Edmonton Oilers has said it is trying to confirm reports one of its prospects, 20-year-old Latvian Kristian Pelss, has gone missing during a visit home and may have died.
In an unconfirmed report, Latvian news website Apollo said the 20-year-old wing drowned after jumping from a Riga bridge into the Daugava River early Tuesday morning. Local fire and rescue services received a call about a man jumping from the Stone Bridge around 2 a.m.
Search efforts Tuesday and Wednesday have not turned up a body.
“There has been contradictory information reported, at times, and we are trying to confirm the facts,” the Oilers said in a statement on its website.
“Once we are able to do that, we will be able to offer further comment. At this time, our thoughts and prayers are with the Pelss family.”
On Wednesday, Latvian Hockey Federation spokesman Maris Gorbunov told R-Sport the Pelss family cannot make contact with the player but believe him to still be alive.
Latvian media have cited police in the capital Riga as saying they are looking for a missing man they believe to have been born in 1992, as Pelss was, and whose family had reported him missing. The police did not confirm or deny whether the missing man was Pelss.
Pelss, who played for the Oklahoma City Barons, the Oilers’ American Hockey League affiliate, was a seventh-round draft pick in 2010.
He played on Latvia’s under-18 team from 2008 to 2010 before graduating to the under-20 team. He captained Latvia at the under-20 world championship last year.