Ryan Stoa was born on April 13, 1987 in Bloomington, Minnesota. A product of teh University of Minnesota in the NCAA, Stoa was selected 34th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.
Deciding to forgo his final year with the University of Minnesota, Stoa inked a deal with the Avalanche in March of 2009 and joined the club's AHL affiliate, the Lake Erie Monsters. He would split time during the 2009-10 campaign between the AHL and NHL, being recalled to the Avalanche on several occasions. In all, he would appear in 12 games for the big club, recording two goals and one assist.