Brendan Ranford was born on May 3, 1992 in Edmonton, Alberta. A product of the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League, he was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ranford and the Flyers would not come to terms on a contract and the winger became a free agent. On May 24, 2013 he inked a try-out contract with the Texas Stars of the AHL. After a successful training camp, Ranford was signed to a one-year AHL contract would join the Stars for his first professional season. Ranford would go on to record 33 points in 65 games and helped the club to its first ever Calder Cup championship.
On July 2, 2014, Ranford was signed as a free agent by the Stars' parent club in Dallas.
During his fourth year with the Texas Stars, Ranford was traded along with Branden Troock to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Justin Peters and Justin Hache. He joined the Coyotes' AHL affiliate, the Tucson Roadrunners, but would appear in just 10 games for the club before being on the move again. On March 1, 2017, Ranford was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche in exchange for Joe Whitney.