Jeff Daniels was drafted 109th overall in the 1986 NHL Entry Draft by the Pittsburgh Penguins. In 1983-84, he caught the attention of major junior scouts while playing Midget hockey with the Oshawa Legion where he scored 131 points in 57 games. During that season, he won the Mac's AAA Midget Tournament's Sportsmanlike Award and in 1984-85, he split the year between the Junior B Oshawa Legion and the OHL's Oshawa Generals. The following year, he scored 32 points in 62 games and in 1986-87, Daniels helped lead the Generals to a regular season championship. In his final year of major junior, he scored 68 points in 62 games.
On October 9, 1990, Daniels made his NHL debut in a 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues. He went on to play eleven games in his first NHL season. After playing just two NHL games during the 1991-92 season, Daniels then played 58 games and helped the Penguins capture the Presidents' Trophy in 1992-93. That year he also scored his first NHL goal on November 3 in a 2-0 win over the Islanders.
In 1993-94, Daniels was traded to the Florida Panthers. He had played 63 games with the Penguins before playing seven games down the stretch with the Panthers. In the shortened 1994-95 NHL season, he played another three games with the Panthers.
August 18, 1995 saw Daniels sign as a free agent with the Hartford Whalers. He then played ten games with the Whalers in 1996-97 and two games with the Carolina Hurricanes in 1997-98 after the team relocated from Hartford. On June 26, 1998, he was claimed in the Expansion Draft by the Nashville Predators, and played in nine regular season games.
A return to Carolina was the next stop for Daniels in 1999-00 and he has been a role player with the team for the past four years, while making his first Stanley Cup appearance with the Hurricanes in 2002.