IceHogs sign six-year-old Samuel Escutia to one day contract

Escutia will get to drop the puck on Saturday at the Hogs NYE game vs. Chicago
Published: Dec. 30, 2022 at 11:19 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Life has been an uphill climb from the start for six-year-old Samuel Escutia.

Sam was born prematurely at just one pound, five ounces, and has been in and out of the hospital going through things like open heart surgery, implementation of a tracheostomy, as well surgery for a cancerous tumor on his liver. But this weekend, sam gets to forget about all that and become just one of the guys.

The IceHogs signed the Rockford six-year-old to a one-day contract Friday after Sam and IceHogs front office members met earlier this year.

“It starts grounding you a little bit with how lucky and how fortunate to be a part of an organization like Rockford but just to be a part of the community and the hockey community it’s such a special thing,” IceHogs Captain Garrett Mitchell said.

“It’s incredible, I don’t think people understand,” Sam’s Mom Marcela Flores said, “I think we all take so many things for granted and so I just want to remind people that when they’re with their families and enjoying simple things like going to a Rockford IceHogs game to really appreciate the time you have together because you don’t know if that’s going to always be.”

“He was just born premature and every year he’s in the hospital and he’s usually sick every year and he’s gone through so much and this being the first year that he wasn’t in the hospital (for Christmas) and was healthy enough to be able to take him out to a game and that was the first game he ever went to and he’s just had so much fun,” Flores said.

“Me, now with two little girls I can’t imagine having to go through all of that so it’s pretty special for him to be a part of us for a couple of days and we’re excited to have him,” Mitchell said.