Canadian Nationals: Mens Preview

Canada has 3 spots for both the 4 Continents Championships and the World Championships.

This is Patrick Chan’s competition to lose.  He is the Grand Prix Final Champion and two-time World Silver Medalist.  He has added quads to his arsenal this season and his free skate is one of the best put together and beautifully choreographed routines I have seen.  He has recently announced that he is has been practicing two quads in his free skate and might try it at nationals.  He’s had trouble staying on his feet this season, but his program components are consistently through the roof and I think he can fall here and still be safe. 

Kevin Reynolds has two 4th place finishes on the Grand Prix and has some high power jumps, including two quads in his short program.  He seems to have problems landing them consistently and without the program components to back them up, he needs to stay on his feet but should have no problem making the podium. 

Shawn Sawyer had a respectable Grand Prix season and his Alice in Wonderland free skate is full of nuances and is extremely enjoyable to watch.  He has great artistry and flexibility but doesn’t have the jump content to push him higher on the world stage.

Rogozine is also looking to make a splash in his second season as a senior nationally.  He was the top qualifier to the Junior Grand Prix Final but struggled with his short program and was only able to take home the bronze from the competition.  He should put the greatest pressure on Sawyer for the third podium spot and is looking to make his first senior worlds team.

Ian Martinez and Marc-Andre Craig were neck and neck to go 1-2 at Challenge.  This was the first year that Eastern and Western Challenge were combined, so I expect to see a little movement as skaters perform better or worse but the placements should stay relatively the same and these two had a lead over the rest of the field.  One of them could challenge for a podium spot if there are lots of mistakes upon the top 4.

Liam Firus and Samuel Morais lead the young skaters competing on the senior level for the first time.  They went 3-4 at Challenge and may be looking to move up a position or two and secure their Junior World Championships slots.

The skaters in reverse qualification order:

Charles Dion: He qualified with a 14th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 10th at nationals at the junior level last season.

Patrick Wong: He qualified with a 13th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 14th at nationals last season.

Raphael Yacobi-Harris: He qualified with a 12th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 6th at nationals at the junior level last season.

Andrew Lum: Lum finished 14th at his last international appearance on the JGP circuit in 2008.  He qualified with an 11th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 17th at nationals last season.

Ronald Lam: He finished 20th at the World Junior Championships last season with a personal best short program.  He qualified with a 10th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 9th at nationals last season. 

Dave Ferland: Ferland finished 12th at his last international appearance on the JGP circuit in 2008.  He qualified with a 9th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 15th at nationals last season.

Maxime-Billy Fortin:  He qualified with an 8th place finish at Challenge. 

Patrick Myzyk: He qualified with a 7th place finish at Challenge.  He finished 15th at nationals at the junior level last season.

Elladj Balde: He finished 8th at Junior Worlds in 2009.  He is the 2008 junior national champion.  He qualified with a 6th place finish at Challenge.  He last appeared at nationals in 2009 when he finished 10th.

Samuel Morais: Morais finished 6th at JGP Cup of Austria and 7th at Pokal der Blauen.  He qualified with a 5th place finish at Challenge.  He is the reigning junior national silver medalist.

Liam Firus: He finished 5th at the JGP Brasov Cup and won bronze at J. Curry Memorial.  He qualified with a 4th place finish at Challenge.  He is the reigning junior national champion. 

Joey Russell: Russell finished 11th at Four Continents last season with personal best free skate and total scores.  He is the 2006 national junior champion.  He qualified with a 3rd place finish at Challenge.  He had his best finish at nationals last season when he placed 5th.   

Marc-Andre Craig: He finished 11th at his last international competition, NHK Trophy 2006.  He qualified with a 2nd place finish at Challenge.  He finished 10th at nationals last season.

Ian Martinez: Martinez finished 10th at his last international competition, Skate America 2008.  He qualified with a 1st place finish at Challenge.  He had his best finish at nationals last season, placing 6th.

Andrei Rogozine: He placed 6th at the World Junior Championships last season.  He won bronze at the Junior Grand Prix Final after winning gold at both JGP Courchevel and SBC Cup.  He is the 2009 national junior champion and placed 11th in seniors last season. 

Shawn Sawyer: Sawyer placed 7th at Four Continents with a personal best score in the free skate.  He placed 8th at his first Grand Prix assignment last season before winning silver at Skate America.  He finished 5th at the NHK Trophy and 8th at Skate America.  He finished 4th at nationals last season, and he is a three time national bronze medalist.

Kevin Reynolds: Reynolds finished 11th at Worlds with a personal best free skate score and won bronze at Four Continents with a personal best short program.  He finished 4th at Skate Canada with a personal best total score and 4th at Trophee Eric Bompard.  His highest finish at nationals was last season when he won bronze.

Patrick Chan: Chan finished 5th at the Olympics and won silver at worlds.  He is the 2009 Four Continents Champion and World Silver Medalist.  He is the 2007 World Junior Silver Medalist.  He won the Grand Prix Final with a personal best free skate and total score after winning gold at Skate Canada and silver at Rostelecom Cup.  He is going for his 4th consecutive national title.

Note: Jeremy Ten has withdrawn due to surgery.