2008-09: Kristians Pelss played in 31 games for DHK Latgale in his native Latvia as a 16-year old and scored 3 goals with 4 assists.He also played for DHK Latgale's second team and was the team's leading scorer with 9 goals and 11 assists in 22 games. Pelss skated for Latvia in the 2009 Division 1B U18 World Junior Championship and had 1 assist with 6 PMs in four games. Latvia finished 4-1 in the tournament to advance to the main pool in 2010.
2009-10: Pelss skated for Dynamo Riga's U 20 team in the Belarus League and competed for Latvia at the 2010 U18 World Junior Championship. In 46 games for Dynamo he scored 6 goals with 3 assists and 28 PMs. Pelss was selected by Dynamo Riga in the 7th round (175th overall) of the 2010 KHL draft and by the Edmonton Oil Kings in the first round (19th overall) of the 2010 CHL Import Draft.
2010-11: In his first season in North America Pelss slowly adapted to the higher level of competition in Canadian junior hockey. Playing for the WHL's Edmonton Oil Kings, Pelss' offensive numbers were modest – 14 goals with 19 assists in 63 games – but his +11 plus/minus was one of the better marks on an Oil Kings team that made the WHL playoffs despite finishing below .500. In the Oil Kings' four-game playoff series with Red Deer he had 2 assists and was -1 with 6 PMs.
2011-12: Pelss signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Oilers in May 2012 after skating in the Memorial Cup with the Edmonton Oil Kings in his second WHL season. He also skated in the 2012 World Junior Championship with his native Latvia. One of three Oilers' prospects to skate for the Oil Kings in 2011-12, he scored 28 goals with 22 assists and was plus-34 with 95 penalty minutes. The Oil Kings dominated the WHL, winning 50 of 72 games and winning the league's regular season and playoff titles. Pelss scored 5 goals with 5 assists and was plus-five with 4 penalty minutes in 17 playoff games. Pelss scored 2 goals and was minus-four in four games at the Memorial Cup. Pelss scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was minus-seven with 8 penalty minutes in five games for Latvia, which finished ninth in the 10-team WJC U20 tournament.
Originally thought to be another undersized skill forward, Pelss has shown a solid two-way game in his time in the WHL, though that is offset by less offense than one might have hoped. He is a shifty, smart, skilled forward who isn't afraid to work hard or go to the grittier places on the ice. He is small and slight, which is always a challenge to overcome, and doesn't have a skill level that could be considered high end.
Kristians Pelss passed away on June 11th, 2013 at the age of 20. Hockey's Future passes along our condolences to the Pelss family and to the Edmonton Oilers' organization.