On January 29, 2022, Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAA forward Keenan Skrupa was battling for a loose puck along the boards when he was cross checked from behind and went head first into the boards. The play left Skrupa with a broken C1 vertebrae. He then spent the next 14 weeks in a neck brace with no activity. Week 15 saw him begin the rehab process and some light activities with his neck brace on.
“Rehab was pretty straight forward, it was just easing back to daily life, light skating and light working out with a neck brace” Skrupa told bdnmb.ca. At the start of May was when he was finally able to be out of the neck brace for good and started strengthening his neck with some exercises. It was at this point he also resumed some non contact skating until the start of July when he finally received the all-clear for contact.
“Getting back on the ice was so exciting for me, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face when I heard the news” Skrupa said. His plans to suit up this season with the Brandon Wheat Kings U18 AAA team once again. “I’m looking forward to having a good regular season this year with the team and transition that into the playoffs and most importantly trying to take home the championship” added Skrupa. While this years squad looks to be a really young group, Skrupa was quick to point out he sees a very skilled team that he hopes to be a leader with both on the ice and off.
“I’d just like to thank all my teammates and coaches for helping the long process go so quickly for me with going to the rink everyday and putting a smile on my face, same goes with friends and family at home.” ended Skrupa.