Russ Brayshaw grew up playing on frozen ponds during the frigid winters in Rosthern, Saskatchewan with many of his friends. By the age of 15, it was apparent he had distinguished himself as the best player in local competition. In 1938-39, at the age of 20, he joined the Moose Jaw Millers of the Saskatchewan Senior League. He turned out to provide an offensive spark for the club, potting ten goals and 12 points.
The advent of World War Two meant no hockey for most Canadians, including Brayshaw, who did not play competitively again until 1944-45, when he had an opportunity to play for the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL. In 43 games, he popped in five goals and 14 points. With the return of many of the NHL's regular players the following year, Brayshaw and others like him who served as fill-ins, found themselves without a job in the NHL.
In 1945-46, Brayshaw joined the Cleveland Barons of the NHL, playing in 57 games, scoring 24 goals and 48 points. In a seven-year professional career, Brayshaw toured through six leagues. His last pro season was in 1949-50 when he was a member of the Regina Capitals.