Edmonton, AB – The Edmonton Oil Kings are proud to announce right-winger Kristians Pelss has been selected by the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation to compete at the 2011 IIHF World Under 20 Championship in Bobruisk, Belarus.
Pelss will compete for Latvia at the Division 1A World Under 20 Championship in Belarus from December 13th to 19th. The tournament is one tier below the 2011 World Junior Hockey Championship to be held December 26th to January 5th in Buffalo, N.Y.
Pelss is an 18-year-old winger from Preili, Latvia, who was selected by the Oil Kings in the first round (19th overall) of the 2010 CHL Import Draft. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward was also picked in the seventh round (181st overall) by the Edmonton Oilers at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He attended Oilers Rookie Camp in September and competed at the Young Stars Tournament in Penticton, B.C.
"We're extremely happy that Kristians was chosen to play for his country at the World Under 20 Championship," Oil Kings General Manager Bob Green said. "It's a great honour for him, the Oil Kings and the entire Oilers organization. We wish him the best of luck at next month's tournament."
Pelss has one goal and three assists in 20 games with the Oil Kings so far this season, his rookie campaign in the WHL. His previous international experience includes playing for Latvia at the 2010 World Under 18 Championship, where he scored three points in six games.
Latvia is scheduled to compete at the Division 1A World Under 20 tournament against the host Belarus, Great Britain, Italy, Japan and Ukraine. National teams can be relegated to Division 1 from the top-level WJHC, and vice-versa, depending on their performance at the tournament.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)