2008-09: The 16-year-old Brendan Ranford, drafted 15th overall in the 2007 WHL Bantam Draft by the Kamloops Blazers, got his first opportunity at significant ice time. In 66 games, he scored 13 goals and added 14 assists for 27 points.
2009-10: Ranford’s breakout year saw the young forward finish second in scoring on the Blazers. He scored 29 goals and notched 36 assists for 65 points in 72 games.
2010-11: Ranford was the leading scorer for the Kamloops Blazers in his third WHL season. He scored 33 goals with 3 assists and was -10 with 68 PMs in 68 games. He struggled some at the end of the year as the Blazers just missed the WHL playoffs. He scored 7 of his 33 goals on the power play. Ranford was named to the WHL’s Second All-Star Team and selected to represent the WHL for Team Canada at the Subway Super Series.
2011-12: Ranford attended training camp with the Flyers before returning to Kamloops for his fourth WHL season. The leading scorer for the high-flying Blazers, he scored 40 goals, including 14 power play goals, with 52 assists and was +4 with 73 penalty minutes in 69 regular season games. Belleville finished first in the B.C. Division and scored 290 goals on the season as a team — third-most in the WHL; reaching the second round in the playoffs. Ranford scored 5 goals with 9 assists and was minus-1 with 8 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. He was not signed by the Flyers in June 2012; becoming an unrestricted free agent.
2012-13: Ranford skated in training camp with the AHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs but was released; returning to Kamloops for an overage season. In 70 regular season games he scored 22 goals while finishing tied with teammate Colin Smith (COL) for third in the WHL with 65 assists. Ranford was +17 with 28 penalty minutes. Kamloops finished second in the B.C. Division and reached the Western Conference finals against Memorial Cup runner-up Portland. Ranford scored 5 goals with 15 assists and had an even plus/minus with no penalties in 15 playoff games.
2013-14: Ranford attended the Stars training camp and signed an AHL contract with Dallas affiliate Texas; skating for the Calder Cup champions in his first year of pro hockey. In 65 regular season games he scored 12 goals with 21 assists and was +10 with 14 penalty minutes. The Stars finished first in the West Division, taking an epic seven-game series with Toronto in the Western Conference finals before defeating St. John’s in five games in the Calder Cup finals. Ranford scored 8 goals with 8 assists in 21 playoff games and was +7 with 12 penalty minutes. He signed a three-year entry-level contract with Dallas in July 2014.
Despite his size, Ranford is a gritty forward. He has no problem going to fight for the puck, but his biggest issue may be that his efforts are sometimes easily thwarted. His other glaring issue is his skating. Despite solid quickness, he stride becomes messy and inconsistent leaving his overall footspeed lacking. He possesses a very good offensive awareness and strong offensive talents as well as solid defensive play. A prototypical late bloomer, he has been able to have success at the AHL level but his skating and size will be an obstacle as he tries to stick at the NHL level.
Ranford signed his first three-year entry-level contract with Dallas after skating for the Stars' AHL champion affiliate Texas in his first pro season. He competed in his second Traverse City rookie tournament and attended the Stars' training camp before being assigned to Texas to start the 2014-15 season. In his second AHL season, he is again among the team leaders in assists and continues to be one of the squad's better two-way players. Having established himself at the AHL level, he now faces the challenge of cracking the NHL lineup. He will need some added strength and improve his skating to compete at that level on a nightly basis. That he has made it thus far is a plus in the 22-year-old's favor.