Ryan O’Byrne is one of a handful of local Victoria hockey players to play over 200 games in the National Hockey League. Born in Victoria British Columbia, July 19th, 1984 to parents David and Lorelei, Ryan took to hockey from a young age through the programs offered at his local community centre’s. Being active and involved in a team atmosphere was impressed upon Ryan from an early age and as a result he grew up playing a multitude of sports including basketball, soccer, baseball, rugby and golf.
Upon graduation from St.Michaels University School Ryan was drafted 79th Overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Montreal Canadiens and subsequently awarded a scholarship to Cornell University of the Ivy League to study Hotel Management and play for the notorious Big Red in the NCAA.
Ryan played 3 seasons at Cornell University, winning a ECAC Championship in 2005 while making 2 appearances in the NCAA tournament. Ryan's college career culminated with him being named to the All Ivy League First Team after leading all defenseman scoring in the 2005-2006 season.
On December 6, 2007, Ryan played his first NHL game for the Montreal Canadiens vs Boston Bruins and collected 2 points in his debut. Ryan went on to play 128 games with the Canadiens over the next 3 years while also appearing in 19 NHL Stanley Cup Playoff games. Ryan played a shutdown role in the Canadiens run to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2010. Ryan was the last Montreal Canadien to wear the number 3, as the organization retired number 3, during the Canadiens Centennial year, in honour of Hab legend Emile Bouchard.
On November 11, 2010, Ryan was traded to the Colorado Avalanche. Over the last 2 years, Ryan was established himself as a NHL shutdown defenseman in Colorado while playing in 138 games and putting up 17 points. Ryan has averaged just under 20 minutes per game during his tenure in Colorado.
Following the 2010/2011 season, Ryan appeared as a TV Analyst on NHL On-The-Fly during the NHL Playoffs. Ryan currently serves on the NHLPA Executive Board. Also, Ryan was named assistant coach of the Victoria Grizzlies during the fall of 2012 and currently serves on the Victoria Grizzlies Advisory Board. During the NHL Lockout, Ryan played for the Florida Everblades of the ECHL collecting 11 points in 16 games.
On April 03, 2013, Ryan was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He scored a goal in his debut game as a Maple Leaf on April 08 and has fit in nicely with a team that is poised to make a solid run in the playoffs. Ryan is averaging about 18 minutes per game for the Leafs and has 2 points in his first 5 games.