He played for the University of New Hampshire from 1974 to 1978. The Toronto Maple Leafs chose him 191st overall in the 1975 NHL Amateur Draft while the Cincinnati Stingers picked him 126th overall in the 1975 WHA Amateur Draft.
Burns turned pro in 1978-79 with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League. He got into 11 games with the Rangers in 1980-81, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists. In 1981-82 the Rangers called him up for 4 playoff games.
He retired in 1986.