Born in Pont Rouge, Quebec, Joe Juneau enjoyed four strong years with the ECAC's RPI Engineers. The Boston Bruins chose him 81st overall in the 1988 NHL Entry Draft after his freshman year. In 1989-90 he led the ECAC in assists and was named to the NCAA East First All-American Team. The next year he was placed on the ECAC Second All-Star Team and NCAA East Second All-American Team. Juneau also suited up for a handful of games both years with the Canadian National Team. After graduating in 1991 he committed to the national squad for a year and scored 69 points in 60 exhibition games then 15 points in eight games at the 1992 Albertville Winter Olympics helping Canada capture the silver medal.
Juneau joined the Bruins after the Olympics and scored 19 points in 14 games while helping the club reach the Stanley Cup semi-finals. The 1992-93 season was his first real test in the NHL's long season and he responded with 102 points and was runner-up in Calder Trophy voting while earning a place on the NHL All-Rookie Team. His 70 assists and 102 points were both new records for a Boston rookie.
He was off to a good start in 1993-94 with 72 points in the first 63 games then was traded to the Washington Capitals for hard-shooting defenceman Al Iafrate. His regular season point production dropped with the Caps but he became a more versatile player. In 1998 he scored 17 points in 21 playoff games, including two overtime winners, to help the Caps reach the Stanley Cup finals for first time in franchise history.
Juneau was traded to Buffalo late in 1998-99 and scored eleven points in 20 playoff games to help team reach the finals for the first time in 24 years. He was a solid two-way player for the defensively oriented Ottawa Senators in 1999-00 and helped the club register 95 points in the regular season. In the off-season he was temporarily selected by the expansion Minnesota Wild then shipped to the Phoenix Coyotes. Prior to the 2001-02 season he returned to his roots and signed with the Montreal Canadiens. Juneau went on to play three seasons in Montreal registering 73 points (19-54-73) before announcing his retirement following Montreal's playoff exit to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2004.
Joe Juneau played 828 games in the NHL, finishing his career with 572 points.