Jeff Buchanan played his minor hockey in Swift Current before heading to Saskatoon for the 1989-90 season to play for the Blades of the WHL. As an 18-year-old rookie, he played in 66 games, scoring seven goals and 19 points. He followed that up with a 36-point campaign the following year. Buchanan was somewhat of a late bloomer, and thus was not drafted by any NHL club. He opted to return to the Blades as an overage player in 1991-92, to further improve his overall skill level. It turned out to be a good decision. Buchanan scored 17 goals and 54 points, while maintaining his solid defensive style of play. In 22 playoff games, he scored ten goals and 24 points as the Blades made a push for the WHL championship title, eventually won by the Kamloops Blazers.
In 1992-93, Buchanan turned pro, signing a free-agent deal with the Atlanta Knights of the IHL, where he played for two years. Just a few games in to the 1994-95 season, Buchanan was traded to the Detroit Vipers. He then moved on to the Indianapolis Ice for two seasons and then spent two years in Orlando with the Solar Bears.
Buchanan finally got his shot at the NHL in 1998-99, when he played six games for the Colorado Avalanche. However, he saw very limited playing time and was held pointless. He returned to play one more year of hockey, joining the Hershey Bears in 1998-99, before opting to retire at the age of 28.