The McIntosh family has always moved comfortably between Canada and the United States.
Norm McIntosh, a Canadian, met his future wife, Cindy, at the University of Wisconsin, where Norm played hockey for the 1977 NCAA champions.
Norm and his American bride moved to Canada and had three children: Andrea, Eric and Corie. Norm’s work later took the family to Minneapolis, where their youngest child, Jeremy, was born.
When Jeremy was 3, the McIntoshes moved to Calgary, Alberta, where Norm owned a commercial insulation company.
Norm sold the business three years ago, and he and Cindy now split their time between Calgary in the summer and Arizona in the winter.
Their travels also take them to Spokane, where Jeremy is in his second season as a defenseman with the Western Hockey League’s Chiefs.
McIntosh said he was plowing the family’s driveway in April 2010 when his mom came outside to tell him that the Chiefs had drafted him.
“I didn’t know where Spokane was at the time,” said McIntosh, who maintains dual citizenship. “But it’s a great city and I love it here. I couldn’t ask for a better place.”
His siblings had developed into musical talents, but Jeremy followed his father’s interest in hockey – specifically on the defensive end.
“I started skating when I was 3 and it turned competitive when I was 5 or 6,” McIntosh said. “I was never the best, but I was on the top end and I was a late bloomer. In about grade 9 or 10 is when I started getting better.”
McIntosh played for the Calgary Bronks Bantam AAA team in 2009-10 and followed with a year at Edge School Gold Midget AA, a private sports school in Calgary. He moved to the Calgary Flames Midget AAA in 2011-12 after attending Chiefs camp and choosing not to sign.
“I was pretty happy with my decision and I can’t say that I’d change my mind now that I’ve been here,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh joined the Chiefs last year as a 17-year-old and ended up playing in 65 regular-season games and all nine playoff games. He scored his first WHL goal at Tri-City on March 16, the second-to-last game of the regular season.
McIntosh didn’t wait so long this season, scoring the winning goal at Victoria during the Chiefs’ second game of the year. He also had goals in back-to-back games in mid-December.
“This year I’ve been putting more pucks on the net and good things happen when you do that,” McIntosh said.
McIntosh’s role also changed slightly when the Chiefs traded defenseman Tyler King to Kootenay in early January for Hudson Elynuik.
“It’s hard to see a guy go, but you have to take that opportunity that’s presented you,” McIntosh said. “They kind of relay the message indirectly, but you know you have to step up when a guy gets traded of his caliber.”
McIntosh graduated from Ferris High last year and is taking an online English course through Alberta Distance Learning.
He and Chiefs left wing Adam Helewka, also 18, live with billets Rob and Rachel McCann.