2017 JGP Austria Men’s Preview

The junior men’s event is largely separated into the haves and the have nots.  The quad is becoming much more common at the junior level, but you still might only see a small handful of competitors attempt one at each JGP.  It is not allowed in the short program, so it can make a big difference in moving up in the standings in the free skate.  The second distinguishing factor is the triple axel.  There is a large point difference between the double and triple and with one required in the short program and usually two in the free skate, there is a significant technical advantage to having a triple.  For those who have both, a spot on the podium is almost a guarantee, as long as they don’t see downgrades or other serious errors.

Conrad Orzel is the top finisher from Junior Worlds competing at this event.  He finished 13th at that event.  He placed 10th at his JGP debut last season, but won a silver medal at JGP Germany where he set a new personal best score of 196.30.  His score there was 30 points higher than at his first event and was consistent with his performance at Junior Worlds.

Alexey Erokhov has the highest personal best score of anyone at this event, setting a 216.91 at JGP Japan, where he won the bronze medal.  He had to withdraw from his second assignment at JGP Germany and finished just 5th at Russian nationals and didn’t have the chance to compete at Junior Worlds.  He dealt with a lot of injuries and illnesses last year, which impeded his ability to put together a full season.  He is capable of doing a variety of quads, and has been working on the quad lutz.

Sena Miyake is definitely a competitor to watch this season.  He recently won gold at the Asian Open, a B event, where he scored 189.70, 20 points better than his personal best.  He last competed on the Junior Grand Prix in 2015, where he finished 8th at JGP Latvia. He finished 9th in the senior event at Japanese nationals last season.

Ryan Dunk is making his JGP debut, but he recently won gold at the Philadelphia Summer Classic with a score of 178.52.  Jumps have been a bit of a tricky area for him in the past, but he really excels in everything else, picking up valuable points and making up for any deficits.

Camden Pulkinen competed at JGP Estonia last season and is the reigning US Junior Men’s Silver Medalist.  Pulkinen was not given a spot on the Junior Worlds team, in favor of a skater who competed in the senior men’s event.  It’s looking like he might employ a similar strategy this season, as he competed as a senior at the Philadelphia Summer Classic earlier this summer.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Alexey Erokhov

Silver: Conrad Orzel

Bronze: Sena Miyake

 

Bios of the competitors: 

Luc Maierhofer, AUT: He placed 19th at JGP Slovenia and 21st at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 151.78.  He is 15 years old.

Anton Skoficz, AUT: This is his JGP debut.  He is 16 years old.

Conrad Orzel, CAN: He placed 13th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 10th at JGP France and won silver at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 196.30.  He is 17 years old.

Charles Henry Katanovic, CRO

Radek Jakubka, CZE: He placed 16th at JGP Czech Republic and 14th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 153.73.  He is 16 years old.

Nikolaj Molgaard Pedersen, DEN: This is his JGP debut.  He is 18 years old.

Luc Economides, FRA: He placed 30th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 11th at JGP France and 10th at JGP Russia last season.  His personal best is 162.06.  He is 18 years old.

Nika Egadze, GEO: He placed 14th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 149.29.  He is 15 years old.

Jonathan Hess, GER: He placed 22nd at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 129.81.  He is 17 years old.

Mate Borocz, HUN: He placed 21st at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 121.53.  He is 18 years old.

Mark Gorodnitsky, ISR: He placed 30th at Europeans and 22nd at Junior Worlds.  He finished 10th at JGP Japan and 15th at JGP Germany last season.  His personal best is 170.59.  He is 16 years old.

Nik Folini, ITA: This is his JGP debut.  He is 17 years old.

Sena Miyake, JPN: He finished 11th at JGP Japan last season.  His personal best is 168.73.  He is 15 years old.

Geon Hyeong An, KOR: His personal best is 150.04.  He is 16 years old.

Alexey Erokhov, RUS: He won bronze at JGP Japan last season.  His personal best is 216.91.  He is 17 years old.

Evgeni Semenenko, RUS: This is his international debut.  He is 14 years old.

Nurullah Sahaka, SUI: He placed 34th at Junior Worlds.  He finished 12th at JGP Slovenia last season.  His personal best is 154.55.  He is 17 years old.

Basar Oktar, TUR: He finished 26th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 18th at JGP France and 14th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 152.77.  He is 15 years old.

Ivan Shmuratko, UKR: This is his JGP debut.  His personal best is 125.78.  He is 15 years old.

Ryan Dunk, USA: This is his JGP debut.  He is 16 years old.

Camden Pulkinen, USA: He placed 9th at JGP Estonia last season.  His personal best is 171.69.  He is 17 years old.