The Ontario teen projects a well-developed aura of humility and appreciation, coming across as someone who didn’t expect the role he was chosen for.
“It’s an honour (to be chosen as captain),” Grande Prairie Storm forward Dan McIntyre said. “I’ve come to Grande Prairie and I’ve enjoyed every minute being here. Now that I’m wearing the (captaincy), it’s exciting and it’s an honour. I’ve got a great group of guys that I’m playing with and honestly I’m humbled by the opportunity and I can’t wait for the year.”
McIntyre and the Storm open up the second weekend of the Alberta Junior Hockey League schedule on the road, a weekend matchup coming with the Spruce Grove Saints.
The home side split a two-game series with the Bonnyville Pontiacs last weekend while the Saints picked up a pair of wins against the Sherwood Park Crusaders. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m., both Friday and Saturday night.
During the second period of last Saturday night’s game against the Pontiacs—a 3-0 loss at Revolution Place—McIntyre displayed why he was chosen as captain, creating a handful of chances when chances were few and far between.
For the briefest of moments, the Almonte, Ont., resident was a one-man offensive catalyst, battling through checks, interference and traffic in tight areas, showing off a decent set of hands combined with a deft passing touch and purpose of determination in getting to the net.
Even though his work didn’t result in a goal, he generated a handful of chances when the team was struggling to sustain positive offensive energy at that juncture in the game.
If anything, his dogged determination and relentless nature in the offensive zone is in line with his own opinion and expectations on what makes him effective in both ends of the rink.
“I think I’ve got a tenacious attitude when it comes to playing hockey. I’m always hounding the puck, I won’t quit on the game and that’s probably the most important thing for me, not quitting on anything,” McIntyre said. “That’s a leadership quality and I think I’ve got that and that’s what I’ll be doing for this team.”
Storm head coach Mike Vandekamp has a previous relationship with the 19-year-old forward, the two crossing paths for a pair of seasons with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, prior to meeting up again in the Swan City for a now third consecutive year.
Vandekamp picked up the Cornell Big Red commit when he traded Nathan Morgan to the Capitals in early October.
McIntyre seems to check off a number of the boxes for the head coach and GM.
“(McIntyre) works hard every day, leads by example in the games, competes hard every day and he carries himself with maturity and self confidence, not afraid to speak when necessary,” Vandekamp said. “But I think it comes down to a guy who is going to work hard every day, lead by example and compete hard in the games and that’s what I think being a leader is all about.”
McIntyre was front and centre after the loss on Saturday night, cuts and slight nicks in the mouth region, suspiciously looking like the carving work of an errant stick or two.
“(Vandekamp) wants a guy that’s going to be a good voice for the team, talking to them all the time,” McIntyre said when asked how he sees his role as a first-time captain. “He has to have someone he can trust and over the years we’ve built a very good relationship. I trust him and he trusts me and it’s good to have that communication back and forth.”