2017 NHK Trophy Men’s Results

Short Program

PL. Name Nation TSS TES PCS SS TR PE CO IN Deduction StN.
1 Sergei VORONOV  RUS 90.06 49.18 40.88 8.25 7.89 8.39 8.21 8.14 0.00 #6
2 Alexei BYCHENKO  ISR 85.52 45.84 39.68 7.93 7.57 8.11 8.07 8.00 0.00 #10
3 Jason BROWN  USA 85.36 40.58 44.78 8.82 8.82 8.93 9.07 9.14 0.00 #11
4 Adam RIPPON  USA 84.95 43.16 41.79 8.32 8.11 8.43 8.36 8.57 0.00 #9
5 Keegan MESSING  CAN 80.13 42.37 38.76 7.75 7.50 7.86 7.79 7.86 1.00 #3
6 Kazuki TOMONO  JPN 79.88 43.80 36.08 7.29 6.93 7.39 7.18 7.29 0.00 #2
7 Dmitri ALIEV  RUS 77.51 39.40 39.11 7.96 7.79 7.68 7.93 7.75 1.00 #8
8 Deniss VASILJEVS  LAT 76.51 38.54 38.97 7.86 7.54 7.82 7.82 7.93 1.00 #7
9 Michal BREZINA  CZE 76.24 37.28 39.96 8.07 7.61 8.07 8.00 8.21 1.00 #5
10 Hiroaki SATO  JPN 75.95 40.56 35.39 7.25 6.82 7.14 7.07 7.11 0.00 #1
11 Nam NGUYEN  CAN 65.82 32.76 35.06 7.14 6.75 6.96 7.25 6.96 2.00 #4

Free Skate

PL. Name Nation TSS TES PCS SS TR PE CO IN Deduction StN.
1 Sergei VORONOV  RUS 181.06 94.34 86.72 8.71 8.29 8.89 8.68 8.79 0.00 #9
2 Adam RIPPON  USA 177.04 91.46 85.58 8.54 8.29 8.75 8.46 8.75 0.00 #6
3 Alexei BYCHENKO  ISR 166.55 85.85 80.70 8.14 7.89 8.18 8.07 8.07 0.00 #10
4 Jason BROWN  USA 160.59 72.73 89.86 8.89 8.93 8.79 9.11 9.21 2.00 #11
5 Deniss VASILJEVS  LAT 158.29 76.43 81.86 8.11 7.89 8.21 8.29 8.43 0.00 #4
6 Keegan MESSING  CAN 155.67 74.59 81.08 8.18 7.86 8.18 8.11 8.21 0.00 #7
7 Kazuki TOMONO  JPN 152.05 75.69 77.36 7.71 7.46 7.79 7.86 7.86 1.00 #8
8 Nam NGUYEN  CAN 148.69 78.49 70.20 7.21 6.68 7.00 7.07 7.14 0.00 #1
9 Dmitri ALIEV  RUS 145.94 70.52 77.42 7.89 7.50 7.61 7.89 7.82 2.00 #3
10 Michal BREZINA  CZE 144.21 66.35 79.86 8.07 7.79 7.89 8.11 8.07 2.00 #5
11 Hiroaki SATO  JPN 123.25 55.67 68.58 7.04 6.54 6.75 7.00 6.96 1.00 #2

Total

PL Name Nation SP FS Points
1. Sergei VORONOV  RUS 1 1 271.12
2. Adam RIPPON  USA 4 2 261.99
3. Alexei BYCHENKO  ISR 2 3 252.07
4. Jason BROWN  USA 3 4 245.95
5. Keegan MESSING  CAN 5 6 235.80
6. Deniss VASILJEVS  LAT 8 5 234.80
7. Kazuki TOMONO  JPN 6 7 231.93
8. Dmitri ALIEV  RUS 7 9 223.45
9. Michal BREZINA  CZE 9 10 220.45
10. Nam NGUYEN  CAN 11 8 214.51
11. Hiroaki SATO  JPN 10 11 199.20
Withdrawn
Yuzuru HANYU  JPN

2017 NHK Trophy Men’s Preview

Mikhail Kolyada is the only top competitor done with his Grand Prix events, and he sits at 26 points overall.  Definitely enough to keep him in the running, but there are still six open spots available.

Yuzuru Hanyu will be a quad leader at this event, going for two quads in the short program and at least three quads in the free skate.  This will be a good indicator of how well he is healing from his injury if he can include the quad loop in his program and land it cleanly.  The rest of the top competitors plan quads in both of their programs, but are often sporadic in their success (Aliev, Voronov, Nguyen) or only plan one quad and have not been very successful (Brown, Rippon).

Two of the Japanese competitors are making their Grand Prix debut here.  Dennis Vasiljevs and Dmitri Aliev are the youngest at 18 while Sergei Voronov is the veteran at 30.  Yuzuru Hanyu is the only one in the field to have scored over 300 points, and no one else has even scored above 280.

Yuzuru Hanyu suffered an upset when he lost to Nathan Chen at Rostelecom Cup.  However, he has not been competing at full strength all season.  At the Autumn Classic International, he set the best short program score with a quad salchow and a quad t0e + triple toe.  At Rostelecom Cup, he went for the quad loop but it was under-rotated and he fell on his combo.  His program components were also significantly lower in Russia, in the low to mid 9s and he received no 10.00 marks, compared to 9 for his short program at ACI.  He won the free skate in Russia, even though he was edged out on the technical side.  He landed a quad lutz, quad salchow, and quad toe + double toe.  He popped one quad toe into a double but he also landed two triple axels and he only earned a slight negative GOE on the quad salchow.  Overall, he received 13 points from GOEs and had program components in the low to mid 9s.  He needs a gold medal to guarantee a spot in the Final while a silver would keep him in contention.   He has the best short program, score, 2nd best free skate score, and 3rd best total scores.

Jason Brown won a silver medal at Skate Canada.  He went for a quad toe in his short program at Lombardia Trophy (downgraded and fall), but in Canada he went for the safer triple lutz and triple flip + triple toe combination.  Brown is all about the total package, but one thing he could do to compensate for the lack of quad would be to backload the program and put all of his jumps in the bonus, instead of just one.  His program components at both events were in the high 8s to low 9s.   While his free skate in Italy did not include a quad, he went for the quad toe at Skate Canada, and it was under-rotated and had a fall.  He also under-rotated his triple axel and singled a loop near the end of the program.  His highest value element was his triple axel + triple toe in the bonus that earned him 15.37 points.  At both events he had program components in the high 8s to mid 9s.  He has been playing with his layouts thoughout the season, but hasn’t successfully hit a clean quad in competition, so it is unlikely we will see more than one attempt from him here.  He needs a gold medal to guarantee him a trip to his first ever Grand Prix Final, while a silver will keep him in contention.  He has the 8th best short program, 6th best free skate, and 8th best total scores.

Dmitri Aliev finished 6th in his Grand Prix debut at Rostelecom Cup.  He won’t be able to qualify for the Final, but he could be in the running for his first career Grand Prix medal.  His short program includes a quad toe and a triple lutz + triple toe combination.  He earned all positive GOEs and had program components in the high 7s to low 8s.  He struggled in the free skate at that event and didn’t finish in the top six for that segment.  He has the 9th best short program score.

Sergei Voronov is starting his 12th season on the Grand Prix circuit.  His career has been a bit sporadic, but he has won six career medals, and even qualified for the Final in 2014, winning bronze.  However, he has never won a gold medal.  He won silver at Ondrej Nepela Trophy and gold at Minsk-Arena Ice Star to start his season.  At Ondrej Nepela, he fell on a quad toe in his short program but also landed a triple lutz + triple toe.  His program components were in the low to mid 7s.  He didn’t fall on the quad toe in Minsk, but it did receive a negative GOE.  His program components were slightly better, in the mid to high 7s.  He didn’t have a good free skate at Nepela, but at Ice Star, he landed a quad toe + triple toe and a quad toe with two triple axels.  He even received a Level 4 for his step sequence.  His program components were in the mid 7s to mid 8s.  He has the 10th best free skate score.

Nam Nguyen finished 7th at Rostelecom Cup, so he doesn’t have a shot at the Grand Prix Final, but he can try and win his second career Grand Prix medal.  He has the 10th best short program score, but that was set at Autumn Classic International, where he hit a quad salchow + triple toe and a quad toe.  At Rostelecom Cup, he didn’t place in the top 6 for his short program.  His free skate at that event only included two quads (one under-rotated and a fall and a third one popped), but the rest of the program was better.  His program components are a bit on the low side, with most in the mid 7 range.

Adam Rippon is going into his 10th season on the Grand Prix.  He has medaled five times, and qualified for the Final for the first time last season.  He has never won gold, and has only won a silver medal one time.  He missed US Nationals and the opportunity to compete at Four Continents and Worlds last season due to a foot injury.  He started this season with a bronze medal at Finlandia Trophy.  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.  His free skate did include a quad lutz but he fell and it was under-rotated, earning just 4.50 points.  He also under-rotated a triple lutz at the end of the program and had a messy landing on a triple axel.  His program components were in the low to mid 8s and he earned Level 4 for his step sequence and spins.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu

Silver: Jason Brown

Bronze: Adam Rippon

 

Bios of the competitors:

Keegan Messing, CAN: He finished 8th at Skate Canada.  His personal best is 248.30.  He is 25 years old.

Nam Nguyen, CAN: He placed 8th at Four Continents.  He finished 7th at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2014 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 245.21.  He is 19 years old.

Michal Brezina, CZE: He placed 17th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans last season.  He finished 6th at Skate Canada.  He is the 2013 European Bronze Medalist and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 243.52.  He is 27 years old.

Alexei Bychenko, ISR: He finished 10th at Worlds and 5th at Europeans.  He won bronze at Rostelecom Cup and placed 4th at NHK Trophy last season.  He is the 2016 European Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 255.52.  He is 29 years old.

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN: He is the reigning World Champion and Four Continents Silver Medalist.  He won silver at Rostelecom Cup.  He is the 2014 Olympic Champion; 2014 World Champion; 2015 and 2016 World Silver Medalist; 2012 World Bronze Medalist; 2011 and 2013 Four Continents Silver Medalist; and 2010 World Junior champion.  His personal best is 330.43.  He is 22 years old.

Hiroaki Sato, JPN: This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 184.78.  He is 21 years old.

Kazuki Tomono, JPN: He finished 9th at Junior Worlds.  He placed 4th at JGP Japan last season and won bronze at JGP Sloevenia.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 225.30.  He is 19 years old.

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT: He placed 14th at Worlds and 7th at Europeans.  He finished 8th at Rostelecom Cup.  His personal best is 239.00.  He is 18 years old.

Dmitri Aliev, RUS: He is the reigning World Junior Silver Medalist.  He finished 6th at Rostelecom Cup.  His personal best is 247.31.  He is 18 years old.

Sergei Voronov, RUS: He finished 4th at Skate America and won bronze at Cup of China last season.  He is the 2014 European Silver Medalist and 2015 European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 252.55.  He is 30 years old.

Jason Brown, USA: He placed 7th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  He won silver at Skate Canada.  He is the 2013 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2012 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 273.67.  He is 22 years old.

Adam Rippon, USA: He won bronze at Skate America and bronze at Trophee de France last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he finished 6th.  He is the 2010 Four Continents Champion and 2008 and 2009 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 267.53.  He is 27 years old.

2017 Skate Canada Men’s Results

Short Program

  Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Shoma UNO JPN 103.62 57.12 46.50 9.29 9.14 9.46 9.32 9.29 0.00 #12
2 Patrick CHAN CAN 94.43 48.01 46.42 9.39 9.18 9.14 9.32 9.39 0.00 #11
3 Jason BROWN USA 90.71 45.64 45.07 8.79 8.96 9.11 9.00 9.21 0.00 #10
4 Alexander SAMARIN RUS 84.02 46.40 37.62 7.79 7.18 7.61 7.50 7.54 0.00 #9
5 Keegan MESSING CAN 82.17 45.75 37.42 7.68 7.32 7.39 7.46 7.57 1.00 #1
6 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 82.08 41.89 40.19 7.93 7.82 8.04 8.11 8.29 0.00 #8
7 Michal BREZINA CZE 80.34 42.09 38.25 7.79 7.25 7.68 7.71 7.82 0.00 #7
8 Takahito MURA JPN 74.82 38.35 36.47 7.54 7.04 7.25 7.32 7.32 0.00 #6
9 Nicolas NADEAU CAN 74.23 38.48 36.75 7.39 7.11 7.36 7.46 7.43 1.00 #2
10 Paul FENTZ GER 68.48 34.91 34.57 7.00 6.82 6.75 7.07 6.93 1.00 #3
11 Jun Hwan CHA KOR 68.46 31.78 36.68 7.43 7.18 7.39 7.36 7.32 0.00 #4
12 Brendan KERRY AUS 63.19 31.20 33.99 6.96 6.71 6.57 6.93 6.82 2.00 #5

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Shoma UNO JPN 197.48 106.32 91.16 9.29 8.89 9.04 9.11 9.25 0.00 #10
2 Jason BROWN USA 170.43 80.77 90.66 8.86 9.04 9.04 9.07 9.32 1.00 #12
3 Alexander SAMARIN RUS 166.04 87.68 78.36 8.04 7.54 8.14 7.71 7.75 0.00 #8
4 Michal BREZINA CZE 156.70 79.62 77.08 7.79 7.43 7.75 7.64 7.93 0.00 #5
5 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 155.23 75.23 80.00 8.00 7.79 8.04 7.96 8.21 0.00 #7
6 Nicolas NADEAU CAN 155.20 77.56 77.64 7.75 7.46 8.04 7.68 7.89 0.00 #4
7 Patrick CHAN CAN 151.27 61.41 90.86 9.25 9.18 8.71 9.11 9.18 1.00 #11
8 Jun Hwan CHA KOR 141.86 72.14 70.72 7.21 6.86 7.18 7.04 7.07 1.00 #3
9 Brendan KERRY AUS 138.37 71.23 67.14 7.04 6.39 6.75 6.68 6.71 0.00 #1
10 Keegan MESSING CAN 135.58 59.16 78.42 7.79 7.68 7.57 7.96 8.21 2.00 #9
11 Paul FENTZ GER 133.12 65.54 68.58 7.04 6.64 6.89 6.86 6.86 1.00 #2
12 Takahito MURA JPN 111.84 40.14 71.70 7.46 7.07 6.86 7.25 7.21 0.00 #6

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Shoma UNO
JPN
301.10 1 1
2 Jason BROWN
USA
261.14 3 2
3 Alexander SAMARIN
RUS
250.06 4 3
4 Patrick CHAN
CAN
245.70 2 7
5 Jorik HENDRICKX
BEL
237.31 6 5
6 Michal BREZINA
CZE
237.04 7 4
7 Nicolas NADEAU
CAN
229.43 9 6
8 Keegan MESSING
CAN
217.75 5 10
9 Jun Hwan CHA
KOR
210.32 11 8
10 Paul FENTZ
GER
201.60 10 11
11 Brendan KERRY
AUS
201.56 12 9
12 Takahito MURA
JPN
186.66 8 12

2017 Skate Canada Men’s Preview

Four of these men are making their Grand Prix debuts at this event, including World Junior Bronze Medalist, Alexander Samarin.  The youngest competitor is Jun Hwan Cha who is making his Grand Prix debut at age 18, while the oldest is Michal Brezina at age 27.  Only Shoma Uno has scored above 300 points, and additionally, only Patrick Chan has scored over 290.

This event will be very interesting as it will pit artistry against the technical side, as these competitors don’t have quite as much fire power as last week.  Shoma Uno is definitely the favorite coming into this event, and he has been able to add an impressive arsenal of quads to his programs while also maintaining artistic excellence in his programs.  He was finally able to master the nerves last season and medal at Worlds for the first time.  Jason Brown may only attempt one or two quads in his programs but his grade of execution scores and program components are often enough to keep him in the mix with the top men.  And Patrick Chan was once the technical leader among men, and for years was the only one attempting two quads in a free skate.  Now he seems to be falling behind and even his artistry can’t seem to hold him up, as he finished 5th at Worlds for the second consecutive season.

Shoma Uno is going into just his third season on the Grand Prix, but he has never not won a medal, and never finished lower than 2nd place.  He has also qualified for two consecutive Grand Prix Finals and won two bronze medals.  He started his season with a gold medal at Lombardia Trophy where he sset new personal best scores across the board and is the only man to score above 300 points so far this season.  He landed a quad flip and a quad toe + triple toe in his short program.  His quad combination was in the bonus and earned all positive GOEs, earning 18.26 points overall.  His program components were solid, ranging from 8.85 to 9.25.  His free skate included a quad loop, quad salchow, quad flip, quad toe + double toe, and a quad toe.  The last three quads were in the bonus, and he earned positive GOEs on all but the quad loop.  In addition, he landed two triple axel combinations.  His GOE earned him 23 points and his program components were in the high 8s to mid 9s.  He has the 2nd best short program, best free skate, and best total scores.

Jason Brown is starting his fifth season on the Grand Prix.  He has won four medals total but has never qualified for the Grand Prix Final.  He won silver at Lombardia Trophy to start his season.  His short program there included a downgraded quad toe with a fall, earning only 1.20 points.  He also received negative GOEs on his triple axel.  The rest of the program was strong with all positive GOEs and Level 4 on his spins and steps.  His program components were in the high 8s and low 9s.  His free skate did not include a quad attempt and he had his triple + triple combination judged under-rotated.  The biggest issue from a technical side is that with the repetition of jump rules and no quads, he has to complete two double axels in his program, which are worth only 3.30 points or 3.63 in the bonus.  He also could backload his program more to make up some of the points, as he has five of the eight jumping passes in the bonus.  His GOEs earned him 13 points and his program components were in the high 8s to mid 9s.  He has the 6th best free skate and 7th best total score.

Brown’s biggest challenge in catching up to Uno comes down to the technical score.  Brown is well known for completing his elements extremely well and for making up points on the grade of execution, however, the GOE is factored based on the base value of the element.  So the higher the base value, the higher the potential gain from a GOE.  In the free skate at Lombardia Trophy, Uno earned 10 points MORE from GOE than Brown.  For example, Brown completed a double axel that earned three +2s, three +1s, and one 0 which gave him .70 points.  Uno completed a quad salchow that earned one +2, four +1s, and two 0s but earned .80 in GOE.  So although Uno’s element was not judged to be as clean as Brown’s, he received more points overall.

Jorik Hendrickx is competing in just his fourth Grand Prix event and has never finished higher than 6th place.  He won gold at Nebelhorn Trophy with personal best scores across the board earlier this season to earn himself an Olympic berth.  His short program includes a triple lutz + triple toe and a triple loop but he earned Level 4 on all of his spins and step sequences and had positive GOEs on all of his elements.  His program components were in the mid 7s to low 8s.  His free skate again did not include a quad, but he earned Level 4 on the steps and spins and had all positive GOEs, earning 11 points.  His GOEs were slightly higher in the high 7s to mid 8s.  He has the 9th best total score.

Keegan Messing is competing in his second ever Grand Prix event.  He finished 11th at this event in 2015.  He won bronze with personal best scores at Autumn Classic International to start the season.  His short program includes a quad toe and a triple lutz + triple toe combination.  His program components were in the mid 8s.  His free skate had a quad toe and a quad toe + double toe in the bonus but he earned Level 1 on one spin and his step sequence in addition to under-rotating a triple loop and receiving an edge call on a triple flip.  His program components were again in the mid 8s.  He has the 9th best short program score.

Patrick Chan will be competing in his 11th season on the Grand Prix.  He has 15 medals, 12 of them gold, and has qualified for the Final eight times, medaling four times.  However, he missed the podium at a Grand Prix event as recently as 2015 and hasn’t medaled at the Final since 2013.  He has not competed yet this season as he was breaking in some new boots and decided not to compete in the Challenger Series.  He often played it safe last season and did not put the quad in his short program, but he is one of only a handful of men to score over 100 points in the short program and 200 points in the free skate, however, he has never done so at the same event.  In fact, his personal best score was set way back in 2013.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Shoma Uno

Silver: Patrick Chan

Bronze: Jason Brown

 

Bios of the competitors:

Brendan Kerry, AUS: He placed 15th at Worlds and 11th at Four Continents.  He finished 10th at Skate America and 10th at Trophee de France.  His personal best is 236.24.  He is 22 years old.

Jorik Hendrickx, BEL: He finished 21st at Worlds and 4th at Europeans.  He placed 9th at Skate America and 6th at Trophee de France last season.  His personal best is 253.06.  He is 25 years old.

Patrick Chan, CAN: He placed 5th at Worlds and 4th at Four Continents.  He won gold at Skate Canada and gold at Cup of China last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he finished 5th.  He is the 2014 Olympic Silver Medalist; 2011, 2012, and 2013 World Champion; 2009 and 2010 World Silver Medalist; 2009, 2012, and 2016 Four Continents Champion; and 2007 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 295.27.  He is 26 years old.

Keegan Messing, CAN: His personal best is 248.30.  He is 25 years old.

Nicolas Nadeau, CAN: He finished 12th at Junior Worlds.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 224.76.  He is 20 years old.

Michal Brezina, CZE: He placed 17th at Worlds and 12th at Europeans last season.  He finished 4th at Skate Canada and 10th at Cup of China.  He is the 2013 European Bronze Medalist and 2009 World Junior Silver Medalist.  His personal best is 243.52.  He is 27 years old.

Paul Fentz, GER: He finished 20th at Worlds and 10th at Europeans.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 225.85.  He is 25 years old.

Takahito Mura, JPN: He finished 8th at Skate Canada and 5th at Trophee de France last season.  He is the 2014 Four Continents Champion.  His personal best is 268.43.  He is 26 years old.

Shoma Uno, JPN: He is the reigning World Silver Medalist and reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist. He won gold at Skate America and silver at Rostelecom Cup last season to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won bronze.  He is the 2015 World Junior Champion.  His personal best is 319.84.  He is 19 years old.

Jun Hwan Cha, KOR: He finished 5th at Junior Worlds.  He won gold at JGP Japan and gold at JGP Germany last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where he won bronze.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 242.45.  He is 18 years old.

Alexander Samarin, RUS: He placed 8th at Europeans and is the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalist.  He won gold at JGP Russia and gold at JGP Estonia last season to qualify for the Junior Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  This is his Grand Prix debut.  His personal best is 245.53.  He is 19 years old.

Jason Brown, USA: He placed 7th at Worlds and 6th at Four Continents.  He won silver at Skate America and finished 7th at NHK Trophy.  He is the 2013 World Junior Silver Medalist and 2012 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 273.67.  He is 22 years old.

2017 World Championships Men’s Preview

It’s all about the quads, bout the quads, no triples should be the motto of the men’s event at the World Championships in Helsinki.  Nathan Chen made history at the US Championships and again at Four Continents when he became the first man to land five quads in a free program.  Several skaters are attempting quad lutzes and quad flips and even quad loops.

Javier Fernandez enters this event as the reigning two-time World Champion and five-time European Champion. He set a personal best defending his World title last season, scoring an impressive 314.93 points.  He has had a less than stellar season this year, placing 4th at the Grand Prix Final and failing to score over 300 points.  Most of this can be attributed to his technical performances which have not been clean this season.  His program components have been strong, with his best short program performance equal to that of Yuzuru Hanyu.  He has the highest program components score in the free skate this season, besting Hanyu.  In the short program he has a very slight technical disadvantage as he has the easier quad salchow and quad toe.  In the free skate, he only has three quads, putting him 10 or even 15 points behind the other top men in the field in planned jump content.  He has to skate perfectly clean if he wants to hold on to his World title.  He has the 2nd best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 3rd best total scores.

Yuzuru Hanyu is the two-time reigning World Silver Medalist.  He competed at Four Continents for the first time since 2013 and walked away with the silver medal.  He started his season with a silver medal at Skate Canada but was able to take home gold from the Grand Prix Final.  He was the first skater to score over 300 points and currently holds the record of 330.43.  However, he has not come close to that mark this season, scoring in the low 300s.  He is the first skater to land a quad loop and has it in both of his programs this season.  His short program includes a quad loop and a quad salchow.  He has five planned quads in his free skate, including the quad loop, two quad salchows, and two quad toes.  His jump content base value in the free skate is 90 points.  His biggest issue is skating his programs cleanly, and he hasn’t been able to skate a clean program, let alone two clean programs in competition this season.  He also has been bested on the program components this season by Patrick Chan and Fernandez.  He has the best short program, best free skate, and 2nd best total scores.

Shoma Uno is the reigning Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  He won a gold and silver on the Grand Prix circuit and took home bronze from the Grand Prix Final.  Last season, he finished a disappointing 7th at Worlds after he won bronze at the Grand Prix Final in his first senior season.  His personal best score is 288.05, set at Four Continents, however he crossed the 300 point threshold a few weeks ago at Coupe de Printemps, a senior B event.  These events are often overscored and thus do not count towards personal best scores, but it will be interesting to see how close he can get to that mark.  His short program includes a quad flip and a quad toe.  His free skate includes four quads, including a quad loop (new at Four Continents), quad flip, and two quad toes.  His planned base value of 84 for his jumps is well below the 90 point threshold that several other top competitors are aiming for, however, he has the best program components of any of the younger skaters.  For both of his programs, he is only within 3-4 points of the top program component scores handed out this season.  He has the 4th best short program, 5th best free skate, and 4th best total scores.

Nathan Chen is the reigning Four Continents Champion.  He won a silver medal at the NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won the silver medal.  In just his first senior season, he has been setting record after record and making history with his programs.  His personal best was set at Four Continents and is 307.46, making him one of only three skaters to score above 300 points in major competition.  What is most impressive about him, is that he has the ability to land five quads in a program cleanly and receive positive GOEs on all of his elements.  He showed a bit of a crack in his armor at Four Continents but was still able to hold off some formidable competition to take home his first championship gold medal.  As expected, he has the best TES scores for the short program and free skate.  His short program includes a quad lutz and a quad flip, giving him the highest jump base value of the competition.  His free skate has a quad lutz, quad flip, two quad toes and a quad salchow.  His program components have been improving throughout the season, going from 40 points in the short program to 43 and from 79 to 88 in the free skate.  He has been working with Marina Zoueva this season, but he’s also a classically trained ballet dancer and it is likely that the increase in his scores is partially based on reputation as he’s made his mark in his first senior season.  His program components at Four Continents, were much higher than they were earlier in the season, and he admitted that he was focused on the technical elements and wasn’t able to put out as strong as an artistic performance as he has in the past.  He is definitely a sleeper for the gold medal, as he has the most difficult content and is the only one who’s been able to skate two clean programs this season, but the program components may hold him back if skaters like Hanyu are relatively clean and have a several point lead on him in that segment.  He has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate, and best total scores.

Boyang Jin was the surprise bronze medalist at last year’s World Championships.  He was the first man to land a quad lutz+triple toe combination in competition.  He won a silver medal at Cup of China this season, but failed to qualify for the Grand Prix Final and he finished off the podium at Four Continents.  He has made strides in the performance quality of his skating, but he’s still behind the rest of the top men in this field.  His other main issue has been landing his jumps and completing them cleanly.  He gives a lot of points away with negative grades of execution.  His personal best came at last year’s Four Continents, where he scored 289.83.  His short program includes a quad lutz and a quad toe, while his free skate has a quad lutz, quad loop, quad salchow and two quad toes.  He has the most difficult free skate planned with the base value for the jumps over 95 points.  However, at Four Continents, where he first debuted his new free skate layout, his TES was only 100 points.  With missed jumps and negative GOEs he lost enough points that he was only able to gain 5 points over his planned jump base value with GOEs, three spins, a step sequence and a choreographic sequence.  And his program components really cost him points, as he’s scoring 10 points behind Nathan Chen in that segment.  Unfortunately, even if he landed a perfectly clean program, he might not have enough technical value to offset the deficits on the artistic side.  He has the 6th best short program, 7th best free skate, and 6th best total scores.

Patrick Chan finished 5th at Worlds last year and 4th at Four Continents last month.  He qualified for the Grand Prix Final after winning a pair of gold medals, but only finished 5th overall.  He takes a calculated risk with his short program, only going for one quad toe, which gives him a base value for his jumps 10 points less than Nathan Chen.  That’s a large gap to overcome, but he’s banking on a clean program and strong program components to make up the gap.  Unfortunately, Hanyu, Fernandez, Uno, and Chan can all put out clean short programs with two quads with strong program components.  This strategy works if other’s falter, but if they hit their jumps he might be out of contention for the podium before the free skate even begins.  He only plans two quads in his free skate, both quad toes.  His jump base value is 77 points, just below Fernandez, but nearly 15 points lower than Hanyu and Chen.  Between two programs he has 25 points to make up just in jumps to try and catch Hanyu and Chen.  His skating is effortless and he earns the high program components and GOEs he receives.  His personal best is just under 300 at 295.27 but that was set way back in 2013.  He has the 5th best short program, 4th best free skate, and 5th best total scores.

Jason Brown is in a similar boat to Patrick Chan.  He doesn’t have the technical firepower to compete with the top skaters, but is relying on superior spins, step sequences, and skating skills to push him into contention.  He suffered an injury that kept him out of US Nationals and didn’t allow him to attempt a single quad at Four Continents where he finished 6th.  His personal best is 268.38, set at Skate America this year where he landed a quad in competition for the first time.  His most difficult layout was at Skate America, where he attempted one quad toe in each program.  By pushing his combination to the second half of the short program, he has a slight technical advantage on Patrick Chan, but is still well below the rest of the field. Even with all of his gifts, his free skate planned jump content is 10 points less than Chan’s, 25 points less than Hanyu and Chen.  To try and make it to the podium he needs to find 35 points these skaters don’t have, or he needs a lot of mistakes at the top.  Plus, he’s losing ground in his sweet spot, the program component marks, with Chen beating him on program components in the short program.  Brown is still one of the few skaters to score above 90 in PCS in the free skate.  He has the 6th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Denis Ten has missed a good chunk of the season due to injury.  He only was able to compete at one Grand Prix event, Trophee de France, where he won silver.  He wasn’t able to compete at Four Continents and he finished just 10th at the Asian Winter Games.  He was 11th at Worlds last season, his worst finish since 2011.  He has one quad toe in his short program and one quad toe in his free skate.  His personal best was set at Four Continents in 2015 when he scored 289.46.  He had the 9th best short program, 9th best free skate, and 7th best total scores.

Maxim Kovtun is the reigning European Silver Medalist.  He finished 18th at Worlds last season.  He finished 7th at his two Grand Prix assignments this season.  His personal best came at Europeans, where he scored 266.80.  He has two quads in each program, one toe and one salchow.  However, the rest of his free skate content is just not strong enough to compete with the top men, and he very rarely puts two clean programs together.  He has the 7th best short program, 10th best free skate, and 10th best total scores.

Mikhail Kolyada is the reigning European Bronze Medalist.  His personal best is 267.97, set at Worlds last year where he placed 4th.  He has a quad toe in his short program and a quad lutz and quad toe in his free skate.  He has the 8th best short program score.

Other skaters looking to crack the top ten at Worlds include Misha Ge (7th at Four Continents), Kevin Reynolds (3rd at Skate Canada), Alexei Bychenko (3rd at Rostelecom Cup), Jorik Hendrickx (4th at Europeans), and Keiji Tanaka (3rd at NHK Trophy).

Adam Rippon currently has the 10th best short program, 8th best free skate and 9th best total scores for the season and placed 6th at the Grand Prix Final, however, suffered an injury that took him out of US Nationals and the rest of this season.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu

Silver: Nathan Chen

Bronze: Javier Fernandez

 

The competitors:

Slavik Hayrapetyan, ARM:

Brendan Kerry, AUS:

Larry Loupolover, AZE:

Jorik Hendrickx, BEL:

Patrick Chan, CAN:

Kevin Reynolds, CAN:

Boyang Jin, CHN:

Chih-I Tsao, TPE:

Nicholas Vrdoljak, CRO:

Michal Brezina, CZE:

Valtter Virtanen, FIN:

Chafik Besseghier, FRA:

Moris Kvitelashvili, GEO:

Paul Fentz, GER:

Graham Newberry, GBR:

Alexei Bychenko, ISR:

Matteo Rizzo, ITA:

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN:

Keiji Tanaka, JPN:

Shoma Uno, JPN:

Denis Ten, KAZ:

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT:

Julian Zhi Jie Yee, MAS:

Michael Christian Martinez, PHI:

Igor Reznichenko, POL:

Jinseo Kim, KOR:

Mikhail Kolyada, RUS:

Maxim Kovtun, RUS:

Javier Fernandez, ESP:

Javier Raya, ESP:

Alexander Majorov, SWE:

Stephane Walker, SUI:

Ivan Pavlov, UKR:

Jason Brown, USA:

Nathan Chen, USA:

Misha Ge, UZB:

2017 Four Continents Championships Men’s Results

Short Program

 Pl. Qual. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Q Nathan CHEN USA 103.12 59.58 43.54 8.68 8.50 8.93 8.75 8.68 0.00 #19
2 Q Shoma UNO JPN 100.28 56.07 44.21 8.96 8.64 8.89 8.79 8.93 0.00 #23
3 Q Yuzuru HANYU JPN 97.04 50.11 46.93 9.46 9.25 9.29 9.39 9.54 0.00 #22
4 Q Boyang JIN CHN 91.33 51.26 40.07 8.18 7.68 8.21 7.93 8.07 0.00 #26
5 Q Patrick CHAN CAN 88.46 43.70 45.76 9.18 9.11 8.93 9.25 9.29 1.00 #24
6 Q Han YAN CHN 84.08 44.61 39.47 8.04 7.61 7.89 7.86 8.07 0.00 #15
7 Q Grant HOCHSTEIN USA 81.94 42.34 39.60 7.89 7.71 7.96 7.93 8.11 0.00 #20
8 Q Misha GE UZB 81.85 42.27 40.58 7.96 7.79 8.29 8.18 8.36 1.00 #25
9 Q Jason BROWN USA 80.77 38.77 43.00 8.50 8.50 8.57 8.64 8.79 1.00 #21
10 Q Brendan KERRY AUS 78.11 43.07 36.04 7.18 7.00 7.18 7.36 7.32 1.00 #5
11 Q Keiji TANAKA JPN 77.55 38.90 38.65 7.82 7.54 7.79 7.79 7.71 0.00 #16
12 Q Kevin REYNOLDS CAN 76.36 39.57 37.79 7.57 7.39 7.54 7.68 7.61 1.00 #14
13 Q Nam NGUYEN CAN 72.99 35.38 37.61 7.50 7.36 7.57 7.57 7.61 0.00 #17
14 Q Michael Christian MARTINEZ PHI 72.47 37.23 35.24 7.00 6.71 7.21 7.07 7.25 0.00 #18
15 Q Julian Zhi Jie YEE MAS 72.21 38.92 33.29 6.79 6.43 6.79 6.64 6.64 0.00 #11
16 Q June Hyoung LEE KOR 67.55 35.10 32.45 6.57 6.21 6.57 6.46 6.64 0.00 #8
17 Q Sihyeong LEE KOR 65.40 34.62 30.78 6.18 5.93 6.25 6.21 6.21 0.00 #7
18 Q Jinseo KIM KOR 64.26 31.83 32.43 6.57 6.18 6.43 6.57 6.68 0.00 #10
19 Q Andrew DODDS AUS 60.17 28.02 32.15 6.43 6.04 6.46 6.61 6.61 0.00 #13
20 Q Mark WEBSTER AUS 54.92 29.50 25.42 5.14 4.93 4.96 5.21 5.18 0.00 #2
21 Q Leslie Man Cheuk IP HKG 52.86 27.22 25.64 5.25 4.89 5.21 5.11 5.18 0.00 #9
22 Q Chih-I TSAO TPE 51.02 24.49 28.53 5.89 5.43 5.57 5.82 5.82 2.00 #6
23 Q Kai Xiang CHEW MAS 47.38 25.48 21.90 4.57 4.25 4.25 4.54 4.29 0.00 #4
24 Q Micah TANG TPE 46.41 24.65 21.76 4.61 4.11 4.36 4.43 4.25 0.00 #1
25 Harry Hau Yin LEE HKG 45.27 21.81 23.46 4.89 4.57 4.64 4.79 4.57 0.00 #12
26 Harrison Jon-Yen WONG HKG 45.12 22.54 23.58 4.75 4.54 4.68 4.82 4.79 1.00 #3

Free Skate

 Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Yuzuru HANYU JPN 206.67 112.33 94.34 9.46 9.25 9.54 9.46 9.46 0.00 #23
2 Nathan CHEN USA 204.34 115.48 88.86 9.00 8.75 8.89 8.93 8.86 0.00 #24
3 Shoma UNO JPN 187.77 98.69 91.08 9.11 8.96 9.04 9.18 9.25 2.00 #22
4 Patrick CHAN CAN 179.52 88.94 92.58 9.25 9.18 9.14 9.29 9.43 2.00 #20
5 Boyang JIN CHN 176.18 100.74 77.44 8.04 7.43 7.64 7.82 7.79 2.00 #19
6 Jason BROWN USA 165.08 79.36 85.72 8.43 8.43 8.64 8.61 8.75 0.00 #16
7 Nam NGUYEN CAN 164.09 92.57 72.52 7.32 7.04 7.29 7.29 7.32 1.00 #7
8 Misha GE UZB 157.56 80.64 76.92 7.68 7.46 7.75 7.71 7.86 0.00 #17
9 Grant HOCHSTEIN USA 153.78 77.00 77.78 7.82 7.64 7.75 7.79 7.89 1.00 #18
10 Han YAN CHN 151.37 73.09 78.28 8.00 7.68 7.71 7.93 7.82 0.00 #21
11 Brendan KERRY AUS 149.28 76.70 72.58 7.39 7.00 7.29 7.29 7.32 0.00 #15
12 Kevin REYNOLDS CAN 145.95 72.31 74.64 7.50 7.29 7.46 7.50 7.57 1.00 #14
13 Keiji TANAKA JPN 142.63 68.71 73.92 7.54 7.21 7.29 7.46 7.46 0.00 #13
14 Michael Christian MARTINEZ PHI 141.68 71.56 71.12 7.07 6.82 7.21 7.25 7.21 1.00 #9
15 Jinseo KIM KOR 130.79 63.95 67.84 6.82 6.46 6.82 6.89 6.93 1.00 #11
16 Julian Zhi Jie YEE MAS 130.46 63.96 67.50 6.75 6.50 6.82 6.75 6.93 1.00 #10
17 Sihyeong LEE KOR 130.32 64.04 66.28 6.61 6.50 6.71 6.68 6.64 0.00 #8
18 June Hyoung LEE KOR 120.03 56.11 64.92 6.61 6.32 6.46 6.61 6.46 1.00 #12
19 Chih-I TSAO TPE 118.61 64.25 56.36 5.93 5.46 5.61 5.68 5.50 2.00 #6
20 Mark WEBSTER AUS 105.11 51.41 54.70 5.46 5.29 5.39 5.64 5.57 1.00 #4
21 Andrew DODDS AUS 101.88 48.04 54.84 5.79 5.21 5.46 5.50 5.46 1.00 #2
22 Leslie Man Cheuk IP HKG 93.88 52.32 45.56 4.89 4.25 4.50 4.68 4.46 4.00 #1
23 Kai Xiang CHEW MAS 91.08 46.88 45.20 4.82 4.21 4.50 4.64 4.43 1.00 #5
24 Micah TANG TPE 89.38 46.24 44.14 4.61 4.18 4.39 4.57 4.32 1.00 #3

Total

Pl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Nathan CHEN
USA
307.46 1 2
2 Yuzuru HANYU
JPN
303.71 3 1
3 Shoma UNO
JPN
288.05 2 3
4 Patrick CHAN
CAN
267.98 5 4
5 Boyang JIN
CHN
267.51 4 5
6 Jason BROWN
USA
245.85 9 6
7 Misha GE
UZB
239.41 8 8
8 Nam NGUYEN
CAN
237.08 13 7
9 Grant HOCHSTEIN
USA
235.72 7 9
10 Han YAN
CHN
235.45 6 10
11 Brendan KERRY
AUS
227.39 10 11
12 Kevin REYNOLDS
CAN
222.31 12 12
13 Keiji TANAKA
JPN
220.18 11 13
14 Michael Christian MARTINEZ
PHI
214.15 14 14
15 Julian Zhi Jie YEE
MAS
202.67 15 16
16 Sihyeong LEE
KOR
195.72 17 17
17 Jinseo KIM
KOR
195.05 18 15
18 June Hyoung LEE
KOR
187.58 16 18
19 Chih-I TSAO
TPE
169.63 22 19
20 Andrew DODDS
AUS
162.05 19 21
21 Mark WEBSTER
AUS
160.03 20 20
22 Leslie Man Cheuk IP
HKG
146.74 21 22
23 Kai Xiang CHEW
MAS
138.46 23 23
24 Micah TANG
TPE
135.79 24 24

2017 US Nationals Senior Men’s Preview

As a group, these men have won 60 national medals.  They have earned one medal at Four Continents and five World Junior medals.  They won 3 medals on the Grand Prix and 3 medals on the Junior Grand Prix this season in addition to 7 medals in the Challenger Series.  The 2nd-14th and 16th place finishers from last year are returning along with the 1st and 5th place junior finishers.

For these men to compete at the international level, they need a quad in their short program and at least two in their free skate in addition to consistent triple axels, solid spins and program components in the 8s or higher.  Internationally, they need 90+ points in the short program, 180+ in the free skate and 270+ total.  The short program will be held on Friday, January 20th with the free skate on Sunday, January 22nd.

Unfortunately, the US men will only have two spots at Worlds this season, despite the fact that all three US men finished in the top 10 last season.

Nathan Chen is setting the standard internationally on a technical level.  He became the first man to land four quads in a free program last season.  He was attempting as many as five earlier this season.  Only two men in the world have landed a quad lutz + triple toe and a quad flip in competition and he is the only one to do both.  He became the youngest US man to medal at a Grand Prix event this season and he won the silver medal at the Grand Prix Final.  He has the 6th best short program, 3rd best free skate, and 4th best total scores internationally.  This event is truly his to lose as he has the technical scores to outpace the field.  His program components are improving and he is a trained ballet dancer (he performed with Ballet West when he was younger) and has worked with Marina Zoueva on his programs.  His best free skate came at Trophee de France where he landed a quad lutz + triple toe, quad flip and double axel.  The axel is intended to be a triple, but that has always been his most problematic jump.  The base value of the jumps in his short program is 39.55 points.  He has been changing up his free skate layout throughout the season, and his best free skate came at the Grand Prix Final.  He landed quad lutz + triple toe, quad flip, quad toe + double toe + double loop, quad toe, triple axel, triple loop, triple flip + triple toe, and triple lutz to earn a base jump value of 86.02.  He received Level 4, Level 4, and Level 3 on his spins with Level 3 on his steps.  He earned a whopping 12 points from GOE with no elements receiving a negative GOE.  His program components ranged from 8.11-8.79.

Jason Brown has been struggling with the quad, but has received credit for it a few times this season.  After a rough outing at NHK Trophy, he discovered he had a stress fracture and has been off the ice.  He has really only been allowed to train the jumps for a few weeks at this point and it is unclear if he will be healthy enough to attempt a quad.  He has the 6th best free skate and 8th best total scores internationally.  His best short program came at Skate America where he landed a quad toe (fall), triple axel, and triple lutz + triple toe.  His base value for the jumps was 30.13 points.  He received no credit for one of his spins at that event.  His free skate included a quad toe (under-rotated), triple axel + double toe, triple axel, triple lutz, triple flip + triple toe, double axel, triple loop, and triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow giving him a base value of 67.84 in planned jumps.  He received Level 4, 4, and 3 on his spins and Level 4 on his steps.  He earned 11.5 points from GOE and his program components ranged from 8.79 to 9.18.

Max Aaron is coming to nationals with a new matador themed short program.  He has long been known for his speed and power on the ice which gives him great jumps, but he is still working to develop the artistic side of his skating.  The matador should be a perfect vehicle for him as it is all about the attitude and power against a bull.  Even though his program will be different, it is likely his jump content will remain the same.  His best short program came at Cup of China, where he landed quad salchow + triple toe, triple axel, and triple lutz, giving him a base jump value of 29.90.  His best free skate came at Rostelecom Cup, although his scores were very similar.  He landed a quad salchow + double toe, quad salchow, triple axel + double toe , triple loop, triple axel, triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow, triple toe, and double axel.  At Cup of China, he changed the three jump combo to start with a triple toe and did the lutz as a solo jump.  He earned Level 3 on all of his spins at Rostelecom Cup, but Level 4 at Cup of China and he upgraded his steps from Level 2 to Level 3.  He earned between 3.5 and 5 points on GOE.  His program components at Rostelecom Cup ranged from 7.39 to 7.82.

Timothy Dolensky competed at Skate America this season, and currently holds the 28th best international score for juniors and seniors combined.  His short program included a triple lutz, triple axel, and triple flip + triple toe (under-rotated), giving him a base jump value of 24.10.  His free skate included a double salchow (intended quad), triple axel + single toe (intended double or triple), triple lutz, triple axel, triple lutz + double toe, double axel + single loop + triple salchow, triple flip, and triple loop, giving him a base jump value of at least 64.14.  He earned Level 4 on all of his spins, but only Level 2 on the steps and he earned 3.5 points from GOE.  His program components ranged from 7.25-7.57.

Ross Miner skated his best skates at Cup of China.  His short program included a triple flip, triple axel, and triple lutz + double toe, giving him a base jump value of 21.83 points.  His free skate included a double salchow (intended quad), triple axel + double toe, triple lutz + triple toe, single axel (intended triple), double loop (intended triple), triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow (under-rotated), triple flip (edge call), and double axel.  This gives him a base value for planned jump content of

Grant Hochstein finished in the top 10 at Worlds last year and earned two 4th place finishes on the Grand Prix.  He is the reigning pewter medalist, but he has been suffering some setbacks this season.  His best short program came at NHK Trophy where he landed a quad toe (fall), triple axel, and triple lutz + double toe giving him a base jump value of 26.83.  His free skate was best at Skate Canada but he went for a different jump layout at NHK Trophy.  At NHK Trophy he went for a quad toe, triple axel (singled) + double toe, triple toe, triple loop + double toe, triple lutz (edge and under-rotated) + single loop (under-rotated) + triple salchow, triple flip, triple loop (under-rotated), and triple lutz (edge call), giving him a base jump value of 61.47 for his planned content.  He earned Level 4, Level 3 and Level 3 for his spins and Level 3 for his steps.  His program components ranged from 7.54-7.82.

Vincent Zhou has the 3rd best short program, 6th best free skate and 4th best total scores internationally as a junior, and the 29th best score overall.  He won two medals on the Junior Grand Prix circuit and finished 8th in his senior debut last season.  His best international event came at JGP Japan.  He had a triple axel, triple loop and triple lutz + triple toe in his short program.  Juniors are not allowed to attempt a quad in their short program and are required to do a loop as their solo jump.  It is likely that he would upgrade these jumps at nationals to acquire more points.  Zhou went for two quads in his nationals free skate last season, but has not attempted that this season.  At JGP Japan, he had a triple lutz, quad salchow (under-rotated), triple axel + triple toe, triple axel, double axel, triple lutz + single loop + triple salchow, triple loop (under-rotated) + double toe, and triple flip.  He earned Level 3s and 4s on his spins with Level 3 on his steps.  His program components ranged from 6.82 to 7.21.

Andrew Torgashev has the 7th best short program and 9th best free skate scores internationally as a junior.  He took home the silver medal at JGP Russia and won the bronze medal at his senior international debut at Tallinn Trophy.  He has yet to cross the 200 point threshold, however, and it will be tough to find a place on the podium without scoring closer to 220.

There are a few question marks headed into this event.  Will Brown be healthy enough and have enough mileage on his jumps to maximize his element scores?  Will he attempt the quad?  Will Aaron’s new short program boost his program components?  And will any of these other skaters hit the quads or triple axels that have escaped them this season?

Nathan Chen has the three highest short program total element scores out of the men competing here.  He earned 51.74 points for his technical score at Trophee de France.  Vincent Zhou score 44.60 points at JGP Japan with a quad less short program.  Aaron and Brown were within tenths of a point of each other at their best event, but still behind Chen’s worst outing.

For short program program components, Jason Brown has the best mark with 43.43 and his outing at NHK Trophy which was very rough technically, still carries the 2nd highest short program PCS mark.  Chen’s ranked next, ranging from 40-41.

The free skate has the ability to separate the men from the boys.  Chen’s best free skate had an astounding technical score of 113.13, 20 points higher than Brown’s best effort.  Chen’s worst technical outing was Trophee de France where he scored 94.59 but he was attempting five quads at that event and it seemed to be a bit more than he could handle.  Aaron who is known for his quads and has two in his free skate, in his best effort finished 9 points behind Chen’s worst effort on the technical side.

Unsurprisingly, the best free skate components belong to Jason Brown with a score of 90.02.  However, Chen isn’t that far behind, scoring 84.42 points at the Grand Prix Final.  Behind Brown and Chen is Hochstein who was just tenths of a point ahead of Aaron.

So far, Brown has been able to get away without quads on the strength of his grades of executions, program components, spins and steps.  As his coach Kori Ade urged him before Skate America, he is able to go out onto the ice and gobble up points.  However, he starts off at a disadvantage: In the free skate he is nearly 20 points below Chen’s start value on the jumps.  And while the jumps aren’t everything, Chen has the ability to execute with the same quality as Brown.  At the Grand Prix Final Chen earned a GOE of +12 for his free skate.  Brown earned 11.5 points at Skate America.  Chen actually has the ability to outperform Brown on the GOE side and further expand his lead.  With GOE, Chen’s first element, the quad lutz + triple toe, earned him 19.90 points at the Grand Prix Final.  Chen still doesn’t have the program components that Brown does, but they have been steadily improving throughout the season.  He might only lose on program components by 5 or 6 points and it’s not outside of the realm of possibility for Chen to win the free skate by 15 points or more.

Even though he has a quad planned in his short and two in the free, he still could finish behind Brown.  If Brown goes for the quad and receives credit for it, he actually has a base jump value higher than Aaron’s and he’s more likely to achieve positive GOEs.  Brown also has about a 5-6 point cushion on program components over Aaron in the short program.  Again, in the free skate, if Brown goes for the quad and receives credit, his base jump value is better than Aaron’s.

However, not executing the quad is not deadly for Brown. He plans a quad toe in his programs.  If he falls (like he did at Skate America), the jump is worth 10.30 but he receives -3 on GOE making it worth 6.30 points.  After the one point deduction it comes out to 5.30 points.  In the short program, he would likely change this jump to a triple flip which is worth a base value of 5.30 points.  He twice received under-rotation calls on the quad toe, once with a fall, earning him 3.00 points and 6.97 points.  Once he received a downgrade call and a fall, earning a measly 1.20 points.  Even with these failed quads, Brown outscored Aaron, comparing best events to best events.  If he replaced the quad with a triple that could earn him a positive GOE, it could be a net positive for him.  But while it might be enough to get him onto the podium and onto the World team, it will not be enough to compete for a medal at Worlds.

My podium predictions:

Gold: Nathan Chen

Silver: Jason Brown

Bronze: Max Aaron

Pewter: Vincent Zhou

 

Bios of the competitors:

Max Aaron: He is 24 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He placed 8th at Worlds and 7th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 5th at Rostelecom Cup and 4th at Cup of China.  He won bronze at the Lombardia Trophy and bronze at the Autumn Classic International.  He is the reigning Silver Medalist, 2015 Pewter Medalist, 2014 Bronze Medalist, 2013 Champion, finished 8th in seniors in 2012, is the 2011 Junior Champion, 2010 Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 13th in juniors in 2008, 5th in novice in 2007, is the 2006 Intermediate Bronze Medalist and the 2005 Juvenile Champion.

Jason Brown: He is 22 and represents the Skokie Valley Skating Club.  He won silver at Skate America and placed 7th at NHK Trophy.  He won silver at Lombardia Trophy and gold at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  He is the 2013 Junior Worlds Silver Medalist and the 2012 Junior Worlds Bronze Medalist.  He is the 2015 Champion, 2014 Silver Medalist, finished 8th in 2013, 9th in 2012, 7th in 2011, is the 2010 Junior Champion, 2009 Novice Bronze Medalist, 2008 Intermediate Silver Medalist and 2007 Juvenile Champion.

Nathan Chen: He is 17 years old and represents the Salt Lake Figure Skating Club.  He placed 4th at Trophee de France and won silver at NHK Trophy to qualify for the Grand Prix Final where he won silver.  He won gold at Finlandia Trophy.  He is the 2014 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  He is the reigning Silver Medalist, finished 8th in 2015, is the 2014 Junior Champion, 2013 Junior Bronze Medalist, 2012 Junior Champion, 2011 Novice Champion, 201o Novice Champion, 2009 Intermediate Silver Medalist, 2008 Juvenile Bronze Medalist and placed 10th as a juvenile in 2007.  Internationally as a junior he has the 2nd best short program, best free skate and best total scores.

Timothy Dolensky: He is 24 and represents the Atlanta Figure Skating Club.  He finished 8th at Skate America.  He placed 7th at the Nebelhorn Trophy and 6th at Golden Spin.  He finished 7th last season, 14th in 2015, 13th in 2014, is the 2012 Junior Silver Medalist, 2010 Novice Bronze Medalist, finished 15th in intermediate in 2007, 15th in intermediate in 2006 and 9th in juvenile in 2005.

Scott Dyer: He is 25 and represents the All Year Figure Skating Club.  He placed 11th last season, 18th in 2014, 10th in 2012, 13th in 2011, is the 2010 Junior Pewter Medalist, the 2007 Novice Pewter Medalist and the 2006 Novice Pewter Medalist.  He won bronze at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 4th best short program, 6th best free skate and 4th best total score from qualifying.

Tomoki Hiwatshi: He is 16 years old and competes for the DuPage Figure Skating Club.  He is the reigning World Junior Bronze Medalist.  He placed 6th at JGP France.  He finished 9th at Warsaw Cup.  He is the reigning Junior Champion, finished 5th in juniors in 2015, is the 2013 Novice Champion, 2012 Intermediate Champion, the 2011 Juvenile Champion and finished 6th in Juvenile Boys in 2010.

Grant Hochstein: He is 26 and represents the Skating Club of New York.  He finished 10th at Worlds and 8th at Four Continents last season.  He placed 11th at Skate Canada and 11th at NHK Trophy.  He placed 5th at Lombardia Trophy and won bronze at Nebelhorn Trophy.  He is the reigning Pewter Medalist, finished 9th in 2015, 11th in 2014, 15th in 2013, 12th in 2012, 12th in 2011, 7th in 2010, is the 2009 Junior Pewter Medalist, finished 11th in junior in 2008, 12th in juniors in 2007, 8th in novice in 2005, is the 2004 Intermediate Pewter Medalist, and finished 10th in juvenile in 2003.

Alexander Johnson: He is 26 and represents the Braemar-City of Lakes Figure Skating Club.  He placed 6th at Ondrej Nepela.  He finished 6th last season, 11th in 2015, 7th in 2013, 15th in 2012, 17th in 2010, is the 2009 Junior Bronze Medalist, finished 7th in juniors in 2008, is the 2007 Novice Silver Medalist, finished 9th in novice in 2006, 5th in intermediate in 2005, 13th in intermediate in 2004, 12th in juvenile in 2003 and 16th in juvenile in 2002.  He won silver at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, he has the best short program, 9th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Daniel Kulenkamp: He is 21 years old and competes for the Sun Valley Figure Skating Club.  He finished 10th last season, 8th in juniors in 2015, 13th as a junior in 2014, 5th as a novice in 2013 and 12th in intermediates in 2011.  He won pewter at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  He has the 6th best short program and 10th best total scores from qualifying.

Jimmy Ma: He is 21 years old and represents the Ice House of New Jersey Figure Skating Club.  He finished 16th last season, 18th in 2015, is the 2014 Junior Bronze Medalist, 2013 Junior Pewter Medalist, finished 5th as a novice in 2012 and 14th as an intermediate in 2010.  He won bronze at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally he has the 5th best short program, 8th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

Oleksiy Melnyk: He is 19 years old and competes on behalf of the Washington Figure Skating Club.  He placed 9th at JGP France.  He finished 5th in juniors last season, 7th in 2015, is the 2013 Novice Silver Medalist, 2011 Intermediate Silver Medalist, finished 11th in novice in 2012 and 7th in juvenile in 2009.  He won pewter at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for Nationals.  He has the 9th best short program, 7th best free skate and 9th best total scores.

Ross Miner: He is 25 and represents the Skating Club of Boston.  He placed 14th at Four Continents last season.  He finished 12th at Skate Canada and 9th at Cup of China.  He placed 6th at the US International Figure Skating Classic.  He is the 2012 Four Continents Bronze Medalist.  He finished 5th last season, 6th in 2015, 7th in 2014, is the 2013 Silver Medalist, 2012 Bronze Medalist, 2011 Bronze Medalist, 2009 Junior Champion, 2008 Novice Silver Medalist, 2006 Intermediate Champion and finished 8th in intermediate in 2005.

Jordan Moeller: He is 21 years old and represents the Northern Ice Skating Club.  He finished 13th in 2015, is the 2014 Junior Silver Medalist, 2013 Junior Pewter Medalist, finished 5th as a novice in 2012 and 14th as an intermediate in 2010.  He won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Shotaro Omori: He is 21 years old and represents the Los Angeles Figure Skating Club.  He is the 2013 World Junior Bronze Medalist.  He finished 12th last season, 17th in 2015, is the 2013 Junior Silver Medalist, finished 9th in juniors in 2011, 9th in novice in 2010, is the 2009 Juvenile Bronze Medalist, and finished 5th in juvenile in 2008.  He won gold at Southwest Pacific Regionals and silver at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, has the 3rd best short program, 2nd best free skate and 2nd best total scores.

Sebastien Payannet: He is 22 and represents the Rocky Mountain Figure Skating Club.  He finished 14th last season and 20th in 2015.  He won pewter at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

Dennis Phan: He represents the Birmingham Figure Skating Club.

Sean Rabbitt: He is 26 and represents the Glacier Falls Figure Skating Club.  He placed 7th at the Autumn Classic International.  He finished 9th last season, 12th in 2015, 14th in 2014 and 19th in 2013.  He won gold at Pacific Coast Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, he has the 2ndd best short program, 4th best free skate and best total scores.

Emmanuel Savary: He is 19 years old and represents the Skating Club of New York.  He finished 13th last season, 12th in juniors in 2012, 5th in juniors in 2011, is the 2010 Novice Silver Medalist, 2009 Intermediate Champion and 6th in Juvenile in 2007.  He won silver at Eastern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.  Nationally, he has the 8th best short program, 5th best free skate and 7th best total scores.

Andrew Torgashev: He is 15 years old and represents the Panthers Figure Skating Club.  He won silver at JGP Russia and placed 4th at JGP Germany.  He won bronze at the Tallinn Trophy.  He is the 2015 Junior Champion, 2014 Novice Pewter Medalist, 2013 Intermediate Men’s Champion, 2012 Juvenile Boys Champion and 2011 Juvenile Boys Bronze Medalist.

Vincent Zhou: He is 16 years old and represents the Broadmoor Skating Club.  He finished 5th at Junior Worlds last season.  He won silver at JGP Japan and bronze at JGP Estonia.  He finished 8th last season, is the 2013 Junior Champion, 2012 Novice Champion, 2011 Intermediate Champion and placed 5th in juvenile in 2010.  He won gold at Midwestern Sectionals to qualify for nationals.

2016 NHK Trophy Men’s Preview

This is the final stop on the Grand Prix series and will decide the last three qualifiers to make it to the Grand Prix Final.  Already qualified are Javier Fernandez (30 points), Patrick Chan (30), and Shoma Uno (28).

Waiting in 4th-6th positions are Adam Rippon (22 points), Boyang Jin (20) and Sergei Voronov (20).  Five skaters have the chance to qualify at this event.

Jason Brown took home a silver medal from Skater America where he set new personal best free skate and total scores and landed the first clean quad of his career.  He needs a gold, silver or bronze medal to qualify for the Final.  He has the 5th best free skate and 6th best total scores.

Yuzuru Hanyu had a very disappointing showing at Skate Canada where he won the silver.  He had a similar first outing last year before eclipsing the 300 point mark in his second event.  He is more than capable of blowing away the field here and has a quad loop in his arsenal this season.  He needs a gold, silver or bronze medal to qualify for the Final.  He has the 8th best short program, 4th best free skate and 9th best total scores.

Alexei Bychenko won the bronze medal at Rostelecom Cup where he set new personal best scores across the board.  He can qualify for the Final with a gold or silver medal here.  He has the 10th best total scores.

Mikhail Kolyada finished 4th at Rostelecom Cup where he set a new personal best short program score.  He needs gold medal to qualify for the Final.  He has the 6th best short program score.

Nathan Chen is the only man in the world attempting five quads in his free skate and he has the most difficult short program attempted with a quad lutz + triple toe combination and a quad flip.  He has yet to hit everything at a competition but when he does, his TES will be through the roof.  He finished 4th at his Grand Prix debut in Trophee de France and needs a gold medal to qualify for the Final.  He has the 4th best short program, 9th best free skate and 8th best total scores.

The best short program score of the season is 98.59 with the top 10 all scoring above 87 points.  The best free skate score is 201.43 with the top 10 scoring above 170.  The best total score is 292.98 with the top 10 scoring above 255.

 

My podium predictions:

Gold: Yuzuru Hanyu

Silver: Nathan Chen

Bronze: Jason Brown

 

The competitors:

Elladj Balde, CAN:

Nam Nguyen, CAN:

Alexei Bychenko, ISR:

Yuzuru Hanyu, JPN:

Ryuju Hino, JPN:

Keiji Tanaka, JPN:

Deniss Vasiljevs, LAT:

Mikhail Kolyada, RUS:

Jason Brown, USA:

Nathan Chen, USA:

Grant Hochstein, USA:

2016 Skate America Men’s Free Skate

Free Skate

Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Shoma UNO JPN 190.19 100.11 91.08 9.11 8.86 9.21 9.11 9.25 1.00 #9
2 Jason BROWN USA 182.63 92.61 90.02 8.89 8.79 9.11 9.04 9.18 0.00 #10
3 Adam RIPPON USA 174.11 89.25 85.86 8.50 8.21 8.75 8.68 8.79 1.00 #8
4 Boyang JIN CHN 172.15 95.15 78.00 7.82 7.39 7.93 7.93 7.93 1.00 #5
5 Sergei VORONOV RUS 166.60 86.00 80.60 8.18 7.54 8.36 8.11 8.11 0.00 #7
6 Maxim KOVTUN RUS 163.32 88.40 75.92 7.82 7.14 7.71 7.61 7.68 1.00 #1
7 Nam NGUYEN CAN 159.64 82.70 76.94 7.64 7.50 7.79 7.68 7.86 0.00 #6
8 Timothy DOLENSKY USA 148.94 74.24 74.70 7.57 7.25 7.57 7.46 7.50 0.00 #3
9 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 148.29 72.57 75.72 7.54 7.29 7.64 7.68 7.71 0.00 #4
10 Brendan KERRY AUS 140.14 70.16 71.98 7.29 6.96 7.21 7.32 7.21 2.00 #2

Total

FPl. Name Nation Points SP FS
1 Shoma UNO
JPN
279.34 1 1
2 Jason BROWN
USA
268.38 3 2
3 Adam RIPPON
USA
261.43 2 3
4 Sergei VORONOV
RUS
245.28 5 5
5 Boyang JIN
CHN
245.08 8 4
6 Nam NGUYEN
CAN
239.26 4 7
7 Maxim KOVTUN
RUS
230.75 10 6
8 Timothy DOLENSKY
USA
226.53 6 8
9 Jorik HENDRICKX
BEL
224.91 7 9
10 Brendan KERRY
AUS
211.76 9 10

2016 Skate America Men’s Short Program

Group 1

Brendan Kerry, AUS: 37.81 TES + 34.81 PCS -1.00 = 71.62

  • Off in the air on the quad toe and falls
  • Triple lutz + triple toe
  • Singing in the Rain suits his skating so perfectly–he is very light and airy and has the posture and finishing touches that give him the look of a dancer
  • I would like to see him commit a little more to some of the choreographic moments instead of going through the motions
  • Really far forward on the landing of the triple axel but hangs on to it
  • I love the playfulness of this step sequin and that it really plays to the music and character of the program and doesn’t seem so much like an element
  • He has such a gorgeous camel position in his spins

Boyang Jin, CHN: 37.89 TES + 37.04 PCS -2.00 = 72.93 and into 1st place

  • Fall on his opening quad lutz–so uncharacteristic for him; this was his intended combo jump
  • I love seeing him play with the choreography and smile in his choreography–a big step up for him
  • Triple axel step out
  • Quad toe feet get caught up underneath him and he falls–this will really hurt since he loses points for not having a combo
  • Despite the very uncharacteristic jump errors I think this program is a great vehicle for him and you can already see the effort he has put into upping his performance and PCS scores; still not where a Hanyu or a Rippon is but much better than last season where he mostly skated from one end of the rink to the other and jumped

Timothy Dolensky, USA: 39.98 TES + 37.61 PCS = 77.59 and into 1st place

  • Nice triple lutz with one arm variation
  • Very solid triple axel with a great landing position
  • Nice lunge into a camel spin
  • He has such ease to his skating and really makes everything look effortless
  • Triple flip + triple toe toe footed the landing
  • I love the freedom and energy he skates with in his step sequence
  • I’d like to see his sit spin be just a little faster to keep up with the beat of the music but his combo spin is much better
  • I really love this program and Ryan Jahnke did a great job with the choreography

Sergei Voronov, RUS: 42.08 TES + 37.60 PCS -1.00 = 78.68 and into 1st place

  • Quad toe two footed the landing and fell
  • I love the triple axel right as the music is building
  • Triple loop + triple toe a little forward on the landing
  • I find the last half of this music suits his skating more than the first half and it seems to be giving him more power and speed as well

Nam Nguyen, CAN: 42.18 TES + 37.44 PCS = 79.62 and into 1st place

  • Really nice quad salchow + triple toe
  • Solid triple axel
  • I’d like to see some more speed in his camel spin but the positions are nice
  • He skates this choreography almost a little too easy and I’d love to see just a bit more pop in some of his movements
  • Nice triple lutz
  • Such a nice program from him after a disappointing season last year
  • I’m really looking forward to seeing how the performance aspect of this performance grows throughout the year as I think it works really well for him and there’s so much he can do with it

 

Group 2

Maxim Kovtun, RUS: 30.44 TES + 36.99 PCS = 67.43 and into 6th place

  • Really nice quad salchow + triple toe
  • Popped his quad toe into a double
  • Nice side twisting bent leg camel position in his first spin but lacking speed
  • Popped his triple axel into a single
  • Such a shame after hitting the big opening combo that the rest of the jumps in the program didn’t work for him

Jorik Hendrickx, BEL: 38.61 TES + 38.01 PCS = 76.62 and into 4th place

  • Nice opening triple axel
  • Traveling a bit on his second spin combination
  • He has great use of his hands to really express the music
  • Triple lutz + triple toe step out
  • Triple loop a bit of a stilted landing but hangs on
  • I’d like to see this step sequence be just a touch stronger to match the intensity of the music but I absolutely love the choreography
  • This program really has the potential to be something special if he gets just a bit more power and hits the jumps cleanly

Jason Brown, USA: 43.32 TES + 43.43 PCS -1.00 = 85.75 and into 1st place

  • Quad toe looked rotated but he fell
  • Really nice triple axel
  • Nice triple lutz + triple toe
  • His skating is just so effortless and fluid and it’s easy to forget that this is not a show program
  • The one thing I would like to see from him is more connection to the story from a facial expression stand point

Shoma Uno, JPN: 46.87 TES + 43.28 PCS -1.00 = 89.15 and into 1st place

  • Quad flip with a bit of a turnout but nicely done
  • Quad toe + triple toe gets his feet tied up underneath him on the second jump and falls
  • Triple axel just slightly forward on the landing but hangs on
  • Despite the fact that he is breaking new technical ground and is the only man in the world landing quad flips, where he really shines is in the step sequence and the artistic side of skating
  • Gorgeous final upright spin position

Adam Rippon, USA: 44.42 TES + 42.90 PCS = 87.32 and into 2nd place

  • Nice triple flip + triple toe
  • Solid triple axel
  • Nice layback spin into a good camel
  • Rippon lutz
  • He is killing this step sequence and this is a great music selection for him to really show off that fun side of his personality
Pl. Name Nation TSS
=
TES
+
PCS
+
SS TR PE CO IN Ded.
StN.
1 Shoma UNO JPN 89.15 46.87 43.28 8.75 8.39 8.68 8.71 8.75 1.00 #9
2 Adam RIPPON USA 87.32 44.42 42.90 8.43 8.18 8.79 8.61 8.89 0.00 #10
3 Jason BROWN USA 85.75 43.32 43.43 8.50 8.57 8.71 8.79 8.86 1.00 #8
4 Nam NGUYEN CAN 79.62 42.18 37.44 7.32 7.29 7.68 7.54 7.61 0.00 #5
5 Sergei VORONOV RUS 78.68 42.08 37.60 7.71 7.18 7.57 7.57 7.57 1.00 #4
6 Timothy DOLENSKY USA 77.59 39.98 37.61 7.50 7.29 7.71 7.50 7.61 0.00 #3
7 Jorik HENDRICKX BEL 76.62 38.61 38.01 7.54 7.36 7.68 7.64 7.79 0.00 #7
8 Boyang JIN CHN 72.93 37.89 37.04 7.57 7.07 7.32 7.54 7.54 2.00 #2
9 Brendan KERRY AUS 71.62 37.81 34.81 7.07 6.71 6.96 7.07 7.00 1.00 #1
10 Maxim KOVTUN RUS 67.43 30.44 36.99 7.57 7.07 7.21 7.64 7.50 0.00 #6