EDMONTON, FEB. 16 -- Left wing Warren Rychel of the Chicago Blackhawks is out of action with a slightly sprained knee. It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to recover. When Rychel was hurt Sunday, the Blackhawks were able to recall center Jeremy Roenick -- who played bantam hockey in Fairfax, Va. -- from the Hull Olympiques of the Quebec Junior League. The way Roenick played Wednesday, recording four points in a 7-4 victory over the Washington Capitals, it is unlikely Chicago will wish to send him back. However, a forward may only be summoned from junior hockey if the parent team has three forwards out with injuries and he must go back if the disabled list drops. Left wing Steve Thomas (shoulder surgery) and center Mike Eagles (broken hand) are long-term cases, so Rychel's injury provided the grounds for recalling Roenick. Since then, center Denis Savard has bruised an ankle, but both he and Rychel should be fit within a week. Naturally, the Blackhawks are eager to have Savard back, but Rychel? "I don't really know the rule, but we have six guys hurt and {Roenick} can stay for a while," said Chicago Coach Mike Keenan. "I certainly hope he stays. He has a great deal of speed, he has a game-breaking style and he has tremendous hockey sense." Roenick scored his first NHL goal Tuesday in Minnesota, then added another against Washington, while assisting linemates Dirk Graham and Steve Larmer on three more. Roenick was Chicago's first-round pick in the 1988 draft, going eighth overall. He passed up a scholarship to Boston College and opened the season with the Blackhawks. Then, after three games, the decision was made to send him to Hull, where he rolled up 28 goals and 32 assists in 25 games. "I was glad to go to Hull and improve," Roenick said. "The whole fact of junior hockey is to get stronger, to know the game more, to get more relaxed and comfortable in a professional environment. "I went there with a positive attitude. I knew I was still immature on the ice. I wasn't ready to play 80 games straight in the NHL. I listened a lot and it was a very positive experience." Roenick took a break from the Quebec league to represent the United States in the world junior tournament in Anchorage. He was the leading scorer with eight goals and eight assists and became only the third American chosen for the all-tournament team. "That helped me a lot," Roenick said. "The NHL is very fast and so is international hockey. I got a lot of work in the transition game, which means so much." Shortly after rejoining Hull, Roenick suffered stretched knee ligaments. Then, as soon as he was healthy, he got the call from Chicago. Even better than the promotion was his assignment between Larmer and Graham, the Blackhawks' No. 2 and 3 scorers behind Savard. "They're two of the hardest workers I've seen," Roenick said. "You have to work hard with them, but they make things easy for you with their exceptional speed and playmaking. They have a knack around the net and they have a knack of hitting you with the puck when you're open. Not a lot of hockey players can do that." Larmer said, "Roenick's really fast. He's only 165 pounds {Roenick says he's 6 feet, 175}, but he plays like he weighs 200. It's tough to push him off the puck. He's smart, too. We talk a lot on the ice." Roenick gives Larmer full credit in that area, saying, "Steve knows the game and I have to go to him for advice. He's a veteran; I'm just a rookie. We skate quick shifts, go hard and get off. So far it's working pretty good." Roenick's decision to choose the NHL over college is looking good, too, although some critics felt he was risking a Bob Carpenter syndrome by trying to make the jump from high school (Thayer Academy) to the NHL. It is not the first major decision in Roenick's life that has worked out well. When he was a bantam in Fairfax, playing for the Washington Metros, he elected to commute each week to New Jersey for the stiffer competition faced by the New Jersey Rockets. "That's when I started seriously thinking about the NHL," Roenick said. "We won two national championships and I stood out, so I started thinking I had a shot at it. "Not many people were into hockey in Virginia, so my family moved to Boston, where I was born, so I could get better competition. I think I've made that pay off."