Kari Eloranta began his hockey career in 1974 with Reipas Lahti and played with them until 1978. Eloranta then played three seasons in Sweden with Leksands IF, before playing four seasons in NHL, one with the St. Louis Blues and three with the Calgary Flames. In 1985 Eloranta returned to Europe and played two seasons in Sweden with HV71. In 1985 he was selected as the MVP of the Elitserien. From 1987-90 Eloranta played with HC Lugano and then spent one season with Reipas Lahti, before returning to Sweden in 1991, where he played with Rögle BK until 1995. Eloranta finished his career with Reipas Lahti (changed name to Pelicans Lahti in 1996) in 1995-97. Internationally Eloranta won Olympic silver in 1988 and European Championships bronze in 1986. He also played with the Finnish 1980 and 1992 Winter Olympic teams and the Finnish 1979, 1981 and 1989 World Championships teams. After finishing his playing career, Eloranta worked as an ice hockey coach. From 1996-2002 he was the head coach of Pelicans Lahti. From 2002-05 and 2007 Eloranta coached Rapperswil-Jona Lakers in Switzerland, from 2005-06 he coached Ilves Tampere, in 2008 he coached Mora IK (Sweden), and in 2008 he became the head coach of Heinolan Kiekko.