This is a small and very young field. Of the 10 teams, four are making their international debuts and two are making their JGP debuts. Some of these competitors have previous international experience but are competing with their new partners for the first time.
Yu and Jin are the veterans, starting their fourth season on the Junior Grand Prix. They've qualified for the the Junior Grand Prix Final in each of their past seasons. They've also won a World Junior silver medal and competed twice on the Senior Grand Prix. They have an inconsistent track record, however, failing to medal at last season's Junior Worlds and they haven't won a JGP event since 2010.
Vigalova and Zakroev are going into their second season on the JGP after medaling at both their events last season and at the Final. They finished 4th at Russian nationals and were not named to the Junior Worlds team and will be looking to earn their berth there this season. They're inconsistent as well with a 15 point spread between events last season.
One of the teams that bested them at nationals was Tarasova and Morozov. They finished 5th at Junior Worlds and will be looking for their first career JGP medal.
Zaitsev and Stevens will be looking to improve on their international debut last season. With a lack of JGP age eligible teams, they were assigned to the JGP even though they still competed as novices back home. After claiming the novice crown last January, they're back on the circuit ready to make a bigger splash.
My podium predictions:
Bios of the competitors:
Conway/Sherriff-Clayton, CAN: This is their international debut. She is 15 and he is 20.
Orr/Simpson, CAN: This is their international debut. She is 16 and he is 17.
Yu/Jin, CHN: They finished 4th at Junior Worlds. They are the 2012 Junior Worlds Silver Medalists. They placed 4th at JGP Austria and won silver at JGP Croatia last season to qualify for the JGPF where they finished 5th. Their personal best is 167.48. She is 17 and he is 19.
Zhang/Xie, CHN: This is their international debut. She is 13 and he is 14.
Ono/To, HKG: This is their JGP debut. She is 14 and he is 21.
Pribylova/Admiralovs, LAT: This is their international debut. She is 14 and he is 18.
Chernivskaia/Souza-Kordyeru, RUS: This is their JGP debut. She is 14 and he is 20.
Tarasova/Morozov, RUS: They placed 5th at Junior Worlds. They finished 5th at JGP Croatia last season. Their personal best is 148.74. She is 18 and he is 20.
Vigalova/Zakroev, RUS: They won bronze at JGP Austria and silver at JGP Germany last season to qualify for the JGPF where they won bronze. Their personal best is 153.56. She is 14 and he is 19.
Zaitsev/Stevens, USA: They finished 11th at JGP Croatia last season. Their personal best is 102.82. She is 14 and he is 19.