Ryan Walter played his minor hockey in Burnaby, British Columbia before stepping up to the junior ranks with the BCJHL at age 15. After a brief stint in Langley, he established himself as a standout with the Kamloops Blazers and, in his final season, with the Seattle Breakers where he tallied 125 points in 62 games.
As a hot NHL prospect, Walter was informed ahead of the Entry Draft that he'd been selected 2nd overall by the Washington Capitals. Such advance measures were taken at that time to limit defections to the World Hockey Association.
As an NHLer, Walter proved himself to be an adaptable player. During his four seasons with the Caps, he played a tough, aggressive game, getting a solid share of points and penalty minutes.
In 1982, he was traded to Montreal where, in the presence of Guy Lafleur and Doug Wickenheiser, Walter adopted a more open, offensive style of play. In 1985-86, he reached the top of his personal goals list by winning his only Stanley Cup with the Habs.
After nine seasons in Montreal, Walter signed as a free agent with the Vancouver Canucks in 1991. He put in his final two professional seasons there as a defensive specialist.
Since his retirement, Walter has worked as a television broadcaster with TSN and CTV.