Defenseman Joe Micheletti played high school hockey with the Hibbing Blue Jackets in 1972-73 before enrolling at the University of Minnesota where he enjoyed four successful seasons with the Golden Gophers. His freshman year culminated with an NCAA championship after scoring two goals and seven points in 21 games. The school took its second NCAA title in three years when the Gophers won the U.S. collegiate title in Micheletti's junior year in 1976. Among others on the team that year included future NHLers Warren and Reed Larson as well Phil Verchota and goaltender Steve Janaszak, both of whom were members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic gold medal team in Lake Placid. His best year from an offensive standpoint came in his senior year when he tallied nine goals and 48 points in 39 games.
Being a member of the NCAA champions in his freshman year drew the attention of NHL scouts and the Montreal Canadiens selected Micheletti in the 12th round, 123rd overall in the 1974 NHL Amateur Draft. After finishing his collegiate hockey, Micheletti decided to jump to the WHA. In 1974 he had also been selected in the WHA Amateur Draft by the Cincinnati Stingers. In the meantime his rights had been traded to the Minnesota Fighting Saints, and they in turn had traded Micheletti's rights to the Calgary Cowboys along with Don Tannahill, George Morrison and the rights to Wally Olds for Johnny McKenzie and cash in September, 1975. He played 14 games with the Cowboys, scoring three goals and six points. Micheletti was also selected to play for the United States at the 1977 World Championships where he had five assists in ten games.
In August 1977, Micheletti was traded to the Winnipeg Jets, but just one month later was sent to the Edmonton Oilers where he played two seasons until the league disbanded after the 1978-79 campaign.
On August 7, 1979 Micheletti was traded by the Edmonton Oilers to the St. Louis Blues for Tom Roulston and Risto Siltanen where he played for two and a half years before being dealt to the Colorado Rockies with Dick Lamby for Bill Baker in December, 1981 where he played in 21 games. He also played 17 games with the CHL's Fort Worth Texans and represented the U.S. at the 1982 World Championships.
Micheletti, whose younger brother Pat also played in the NHL in the 1980s, had NHL totals of 158 games played, eleven goals and 71 points.