Although Kenora born, Don Raleigh spent his brief junior career with the Winnipeg Monarchs of the MJHL. With the ranks of the NHL having been depleted by the call to enlist for World War II, young players such as 17-year-old Raleigh were called up to fill out the NHL's rosters.
He joined the New York Rangers for 15 games in 1943, although he spent the majority of the year in the minors with the Brooklyn Crescents. But during the campaign that followed, he was unable to return to the Rangers because an unusual wartime law prevented him from crossing the border. Instead, he returned to junior for a brief spell and then joined the Canadian Army until 1945. He then kicked around, skating for the Brandon Elks, the University of Manitoba, and the Winnipeg Flyers before resurfacing with the Rangers in 1947.
During the 1950 playoffs, he played heroically as the Rangers upset the Canadiens in the first round. Then, during the finals against the Wings, Raleigh scored overtime winners against goalie Harry Lumley to claim games four and five of the series. The Wings, however, roared back to take the final two games and the Stanley Cup.
Raleigh remained a steady scorer and playmaker with the Rangers until 1955-56 when he was dispatched to the minors to round out his career with the Providence Reds, Saskatoon Quakers, and the Brandon Regals. He hung up his blades for good in 1958.