Two teams have already competed this season and are still in the running for the Final while several other teams are making their season debuts.
Nagalati and Bobrov took home the bronze from their first assignment in Slovakia, finalizing a Russian sweep of the event. Cernuschi and Ambrosini finished 4th in Slovakia less than a point behind the Russians and showed a significant improvement over their previous results and set a new personal best.
Davankova and Deputat won the bronze medal at Junior Worlds two seasons ago. In their first season on the JGP last year they won two medals, qualified for the Final and won silver. They didn't get a chance to defend their medal last season as they weren't assigned to Junior Worlds.
Gainetdinova and Bich did not finish on the medal stand at either of their JGP assignments last season but showed a 20 point improvement between events and were less than a point off bronze behind Davankova and Deputat at one event.
Aaron and Settlage won a bronze medal on the JGP last season but missed qualifying for the Junior Worlds team. They have a lovely style on the ice but their free skate was often their problem last season.
My podium predictions:
Bios of the competitors:
Seguin/Bilodeau, CAN: This is their international debut.
Lanaghan/Astill, GBR: This is their international debut. She is 14 and he is 18.
Cernuschi/Ambrosini, ITA: They placed 4th at JGP Slovakia. Their personal best is 131.53. She is 16 and he is 20.
Manacorda/Macii, ITA: They placed 14th at JGP Croatia last season. Their personal best is 90.04. She is 15 and he is 17.
Davankova/Deputat, RUS: They won silver at JGP USA and bronze at JGP Croatia last season to qualify for the JGP Final where they won silver. They are the 2012 World Junior Bronze medalists. Their personal best is 155.96. She is 15 and he is 19.
Gainetdinova/Bich, RUS: They placed 8th at Junior Worlds last season. They finished 7th at JGP USA and 4th at JGP Croatia last season. Their personal best is 142.26. She is 15 and he is 20.
Nagalati/Bobrov, RUS: They won bronze at JGP Slovakia. Their personal best is 132.25. She is 17 and he is 16.
Aaron/Settlage, USA: They won bronze at JGP USA and placed 7th at JGP Croatia last season. Their personal best is 130.44. She is 18 and he is 21.
Zaitsev/Stevens, USA: They finished 8th at JGP Latvia. Their personal best is 104.84. She is 14 and he is 19.