2017 Skate America Men’s Preview

We’ve come to the final event of the season and there are four spots in the Final up for grabs.  Shoma Uno has qualified with 28 points while Mikhail Kolyada is in with 26 points.  Jason Brown sits in third with 22 points, with Javier Fernandez, Misha Ge, and Alexander Samarin sitting in 4th-6th place all with 20 points.  Of these, Jason Brown has the best chance of claiming a spot in the Final, but there are also four men at this event that could take those final four spots.

Nathan Chen won his first career Grand Prix gold medal at the Rostelecom Cup earlier this season, defeating Yuzuru Hanyu.  He can qualify for the Final with a 1st-5th place finish.  He landed a quad lutz + triple toe with positive GOEs that was worth 19.47 points.  He also landed a quad flip, although that and his triple axel had negative GOEs.  His program components were in the mid to high 8s.  His free skate had a quad lutz + triple toe, quad flip, quad salchow, quad toe + double toe + double loop.  He also had a popped double toe that is intended to be a quad.  He also landed two triple axels but one had a double toe that was invalid.  One of his spins received Level 1, so there is definitely some room to upgrade.  His program components were in the mid to high 8s.  He has the 5th best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 2nd best total scores.

Sergei Voronov won his first career gold medal at NHK Trophy with personal best free skate and total scores.  In fact, he improved his personal best by nearly 20 points.  He also became the oldest man to ever win a Grand Prix event.  He can also qualify for the Final with a 1st-5th place finish.  He landed a quad toe + triple toe and a triple lutz.  His program components were his highest of the season in the high 7s to mid 8s.  His free skate includes a quad toe + triple toe and a solo quad toe along with two triple axels, although only the axel combination is in the bonus.  He earned 12 points from GOEs with only negative marks on the solo quad toe.  His program components were again his best of the season, in the low to high 8s.  He has the 10th best short program, 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Boyang Jin won silver at Cup of China.  He can guarantee his spot in the Final with a medal of any color.  He can also qualify with a 4th place finish and pull ahead of Jason Brown if he scores at least 242.62 points.  His short program featured a quad lutz + triple toe and a quad toe in the bonus.  He earned Level 4 on all of his spins and his program components were in the low to mid 8s.  His free skate includes a quad lutz, quad salchow, quad toe + double toe (combo not landed cleanly in either China or Finlandia Trophy), and a quad toe.  He also has a triple axel + single loop + triple salchow and a triple lutz + triple toe.  He has difficult content, but cleanliness has always has been an issue.  He lost five points from his technical score after GOEs were taken into effect.  His program components were in the mid 7s to low 8s.  He has the 7th best short program and 7th best total scores.

Adam Rippon won the silver medal at NHK Trophy.  He will qualify for his second consecutive Final with a medal of any color.  He can also qualify with a 4th place finish if he scores more than 245.11 points.  His short program includes a triple flip + triple toe and a triple lutz.  He earned all positive GOEs and had program components in the low to mid 8s.  He landed his best quad lutz of the season in his free skate, although it was under-rotated.  The rest of the program was clean with no jump errors and Level 4 on his spins and step sequence.  He only received negative GOEs on the opening quad and netted 10 points overall.  His program components were in the mid 8s.  He has the 7th best free skate and 9th best total scores.

It would be a shock for anyone but Chen to win this event, but the rest of the podium is not as clear.  Voronov had a great skate at NHK Trophy, but it was miles better than his previous two performances this season and he doesn’t have the best track record of skating two clean programs.  Boyang Jin has the quads to compete with Chen but he also has trouble skating two clean programs.  In his two events this season, he has actually lost technical ground in the free skate when GOEs were taken into effect, while Chen tends to receive around 10 points.  Rippon doesn’t have a quad in his short program and only one in his free skate that he has yet to land cleanly this season but everything he does has such quality that he can make up a ton of points.  However, if they’re all landing their quads cleanly, it will be hard for Rippon to catch up.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Nathan Chen

Silver: Boyang Jin

Bronze: Adam Rippon

 

Bios of the competitors:

Jorik Hendrickx, BEL: He finished 21st at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  He placed 5th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 253.06.  He is 25 years old.

Kevin Reynolds, CAN: He placed 9th at Worlds and 12th at Four Continents.  He finished 8th at Cup of China.  He is the 2013 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 253.84.  He is 27 years old.

Roman Sadovsky, CAN: He finished 17th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 5th at JGP Japan and won silver at JGP Estonia last season.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 221.21.  He is 18 years old.

Boyang Jin, CHN: He is the reigning World Bronze Medalists and finished 5th at Four Continents.  He won silver at Cup of China.  He is the 2016 World Bronze Medalist, 2016 Four Continents Silver Medalist, and 2015 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 303.58.  He is 20 years old.

Han Yan, CHN: He placed 10th at Four Continents.  He finished 5th at Cup of China.  He is the 2013, 2015, and 2016 Four Continents Bronze Medalist, and 2012 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 271.55.  He is 21 years old.

Daniel Samohin, ISR: He finished 33rd at Worlds and 6th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 12th at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2016 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 236.65.  He is 19 years old.

Takahito Mura, JPN: He finished 12th at Skate Canada.  He is the 2014 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 268.43.  He is 26 years old.

Maxim Kovtun, RUS: He placed 11th at Worlds and is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  He finished 7th at Skate America and 7th at Cup of China last season.  He is the 2015 European Silver Medalist and 2016 European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 266.80.  He is 22 years old.

Sergei Voronov, RUS: He won gold at NHK Trophy.  He is the 2014 European Silver Medalist and 2015 European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 271.12.  He is 30 years old.

Nathan Chen, USA: He finished 6th at Worlds and is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  He won gold at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2014 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 307.46.  He is 18 years old.

Ross Miner, USA: He placed 12th at Skate Canada and 9th at Cup of China last season.  He is the 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  His personal best s 248.92.  He is 26 years old.

Adam Rippon, USA: He won silver at NHK Trophy.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Champion and 2008 and 2009 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 267.53.  He is 28 years old.