NHL Hockey: Ryan O’Byrne
Ryan O’Byrne #3 – D – Colorado
POB: Victoria, B.C., Canada
Height: 6-5 Weight: 234lbs
NHL Seasons: 4
Drafted by Montreal in 2003 (3/79).
Ryan O’Byrne was born in Victoria BC Canada on July 19, 1984 and started what was to be a long hockey career in the Victoria Minor Hockey system. He went on to play Junior Hockey in his home town for the BCHL’s Victoria Salsa before moving North to play for Victoria’s main rival in the sport, the Nanaimo Clippers.
Like so many Canadian Hockey players, O’Byrne went on to college with New York’s Cornell University.
O’Byrne’s numbers at Cornell don’t jump off the page but his ability to be the all-important big, physical, shut-down defenseman did. He helped Cornell win the ECAC Championship in 2004-2005 but his team lost in the West Regional Final of the NCAA Men’s Hockey tournament to juggernaut University of Minnesota.
O’Byrne had arrived on the scene with his terrific defensive prowess at Cornell – he would become a First Team All-Ivy player and ECAC Third-Team defenseman.
O’Byrne had caught they eyes of the scouts and even before he suited up with Cornell University, he was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in the third round – 79th overall. He would forgo his final year of college to join the Canadiens American Hockey League affiliate the Hamilton Bulldogs for the 2006-2007 season.
O’Byrne’s style remained constant – not an offensive threat but certainly a defensive force – just 12 assists in 80 games in his first year with Hamilton. However, he would score his first two goals as a Pro in Hamilton’s march to the Calder Cup in 2007.
The 2007-2008 season saw O’Byrne split time between the Hamilton Bulldogs and the Canadiens.
He would make his NHL debut on December 6, 2007 and record two assists in his debut. Injury limited O’Byrne to just 33 total games that season.
The Montreal Canadiens had seen enough to re-sign Ryan to a three year contact on July 16, 2008.
The 2008-2009 season was another that included injury and split-time between the minors and the pros.
The 2009-2010 season was O’Byrne’s best – he became a regular in the Canadiens lineup and he played 55 games with the Big Club during the Regular Season and 13 games in Montreal’s playoff run – a run that would eventually end in the Eastern Conference Final.
O’Byrne would land on the front pages of newspapers all over Canada in February 2008 – not because of on-ice play but because of an ugly incident at Montreal’s rookie dinner in Tampa Bay.
He and team mate Tom Kostopoulos were arrested after snatching a woman’s purse outside of a nightclub, making calls with her cell phone and resisting arrest. Charges were eventually dropped later that same year.
Unable to remain a mainstay on the Habs regular defensive corp., Ryan O’Byrne was traded to Colorado on November 11, 2010 where he remains as one of the Avs more consistent D-men.
Here is a rundown of Ryan O’Byrne’s Career Stats: