2009-10: Riley Barber skated for the Compuware U16 midget minor team in Michigan. In 38 games he scored 16 goals with 22 assists and had 28 penalty minutes. Barber was selected by the Dubuque Fighting Saints with the first overall pick in the 2010 USHL Futures Draft.
2010-11: Barber played for USHL champion Dubuque and represented the USA in two U17 tournaments. In 57 regular season games for the Fighting Saints he scored 14 goals with 14 assists and was minus-14 with 48 penalty minutes. Dubuque finished first in the Western Division and defeated Green Bay in the playoff finals. Barber scored 2 goals and had 6 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. In August he had 1 goal and 1 assist in four games as the US squad won the Five Nations U17 tournament in Switzerland and he had 1 goal with 1 assist in three games as the team captured the 2011 Vlad Dzurilla U18 tournament in Slovakia.
2011-12: Barber joined the US National Development Team Program in Ann Arbor and was the third-leading scorer for the NDTP's U18 team. In 60 games he scored 21 goals with 15 assists and had 85 penalty minutes. In six games at the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship, Barber scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was plus-two with 2 penalty minutes. The USA won its fourth straight U18 championship. In his second year of draft eligibility, he was ranked 86th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings and selected by Washington in the sixth round (167th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Barber was the second-leading scorer for CCHA regular season champion Miami in his freshman season and won a gold medal skating for the USA in the 2013 World Junior Championship. In 40 games with the RedHawks he scored 15 goals with 24 assists and was +12 with 22 penalty minutes. After finishing first in the final season of the CCHA, Miami was upset by Michigan in the CCHA semifinals. The RedHawks defeated Minnesota State before falling to St. Cloud State, 4-1, in the NCAA Midwest Regional final. Skating on a line with Montreal prospect Alex Galchenyuk and Miami teammate Sean Kuraly (San Jose) at the WJC, Barber scored 3 goals with 3 assists in seven games and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes.
Barber was an underrated sixth-round draftee in the 2012 NHL Entry draft. He has average size at 6’0” and possesses a very solid all-around game. His offensive instincts are very strong however and his 39 point freshman season with Miami University can attest to that. He played time on the squads top powerplay and penalty killing unit, showing a tremendous amount of mental fortitude for such a young player in NCAA. He was a surprise selection for Team USA’s U-20 World Junior Championship team and played a pivotal role during the tournament.
Barber’s stock went through the roof in 2012-13 as he put together an all around impressive campaign both collegiately and internationally. He has a lot of time to develop considering he is in just his sophomore season. With continued success in a strong system though, he may not make it the full four years of NCAA before the Capitals get him up.