This update has been written by Payton Bruns himself.
I first would like to thank everyone for the endless amount of prayers, thoughts, and support throughout this tough time in my life. The number of pictures, cards, texts, and visits I have received from numerous amounts of people is just beyond me. I am so thankful for everyone who granted me their well wishes through this journey. Everyone had been so supportive, my family and I couldn’t thank you enough.
I would also like to thank the people I'm closest with. My family, Bryan, Kristen, Cameron, Devin, and Logan. My Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. My Girlfriend, Lilly Genis and her family. My coaches, Nick Pollos, Andy Brown, Ryan Holke, and Mike Greenburgh, and my teammates and families from both organizations, CYA and the Vikings. Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for me through this tough road toward recovery. I can’t thank you guys enough for staying by my side every second since this injury has happened. You guys have done so much to make this easier for me and without you I wouldn’t be where I am today. I love you guys! Thank you for standing by me through it all.
I grew up a hockey player. Hockey to me was a second world, where nothing else mattered. I could spend hours on the ice and getting me to go home was always a challenge. Ever since I was 2 and a half years old, wiping the smile off my face was impossible once I stepped on the ice. Hockey for me was always my escape. It was a game that never failed to make me happy. Once I’d step foot on the ice, I was focused on the journey ahead, and everything outside of those doors was washed away.
I’ve spent most of my hockey career with the Orland Park Vikings, where I became a role model for many young kids who were just starting the game. The Vikings have always been a home to me. The coaches, the rink, and the players and families I’ve spent many years with have made the Vikings more than just a club to me. The Vikings have always supported me and my decisions throughout my many years with the club. I couldn’t have asked for a better organization to spend the majority of my life playing hockey with. This past season I made the jump from AA hockey, to AAA hockey. I made the Chicago Young Americans U18 team, which has been my dream since I was a little boy. My team there has been such a huge support since the moment I got injured. There were many fundraisers, signs, and they visited me every single day. Some boys stayed at the hospital until 4 am on my night of surgery. These boys have become family in such a short amount of time. Hockey is a sport that creates many friendships and memories that’ll last a lifetime. Hockey to me is more than just a game, it’s a lifestyle, it’s where friends become family.
For all the players out there, enjoy playing the game while it lasts, and don’t take any second for granted. Play every shift like it's your last because you never know when you’re going to touch the ice for the last time. Don’t take the game for granted, once it’s gone, you’ll look back and think of what could have been. Do what you can to make the most out of the game because once it’s over, there’s no going back. For the parents, enjoy going to your kid's events, don’t get mad if they have an off day. Don’t scream or argue over one bad game. Enjoy watching your healthy child play the game they love. Enjoy the games, the tournaments, the road trips, and the quality time with your children on and off the ice. You never know when that’s going to end, so make the most of it while it lasts.
Thank you for all the well wishes,
USA Hockey is committed to creating a safe and fair environment for all participants. Respect for the game, opponents, coaches, and officials is a critical part of that environment and it covers several different aspects of sportsmanship and fair play. This Declaration of Safety, Fair Play and Respect will guide a change in culture as to what is considered to be acceptable/unacceptable body checking and competitive contact at all levels of play.
ALL Players and Parents should watch this video. All Vikings Coaches will be reviewing it with their teams as well. Click the link to view...
The Vikings Youth Hockey Club is an organization dedicated to promoting the enjoyment of competitive hockey, as well as providing the recreational and competitive benefits of this great sport. It is our goal to teach the fundamental skills of hockey, develop the whole player, and emphasize the fun of playing the game. Welcome to our site.