Ryan began his hockey career playing with the Quebec Ramparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in 2003-04. In his first season of junior hockey, Ryan played in 57 games for the Ramparts, recording nine points. Ryan also appeared in five games during the Ramparts postseason run. Ryan's most successful season with the Ramparts came in 2005-06, when he scored 6 goals and added 18 assists in 61 games for the Ramparts. Ryan also won the Memorial Cup championship as Canadian Hockey League champion that season with Quebec. During his time with Quebec, Ryan was teammate with fellow Toronto Marlie, Brent Aubin. In 2007-08, his final season in junior hockey, Ryan was traded mid-season to the Gatineau Olympiques. In a split season with the Ramparts and Olympiques, Ryan recorded 1 goal and 20 assists in 44 games.
Ryan began his professional career with the Cincinnati Cyclones of the East Coast Hockey League in 2008-09. In 20 games with the Cyclones, Ryan recorded 1 goal and 7 assists. On December 12, 2008, the Toronto Marlies signed Ryan to an AHL professional try-out contract.