Born in Lac La H'ache, British Columbia, Karlander played four years of college hockey with Michigan Tech where he studied business. Following his sophomore year in 1967 he was Detroit's second pick, 17th overall, in the amateur draft. Karlander was particular strong in his junior and senior years. In 1968 he was voted on to the WCHA second all-star team while the next year he was placed on the conference's first all-star squad and was an NCAA West First-Team All-American.
He split his first two years as a pro between the Red Wings and Fort Worth of the CHL. Karlander played the full schedule in Motown in 1971-72 and 1972-73 working on a line with Alex Delvecchio and Mickey Redmond. He recorded 15 goals each year, killed penalties, and played sound defensive hockey.
After the New England Whalers chose him in the WHA general player draft in 1972 and promised more than a utility role, Karlander switched leagues. He scored 61 points in 1972-73 when he was thrust into a more offensive role. After one more year with the Whalers, he was claimed by the Indianapolis Racers in the AHA inter-league draft. Karlander retired in 1977 after consecutive 45-point seasons for the Racers.
Courtesy of the Hockey Hall of Fame