Despite this being a relatively small field, only two of the teams are making their international debuts and two of these teams took home medals from the JGP last season.
Hawayek and Baker were a new team last season and took home a silver medal from JGP Germany. They finished in the top 10 in their first trip to Junior Worlds. They train at the Detroit Skating Club home to some of the top ice dance teams in the World and with the renowned coaches Krylova and Camerlengo. They have a very nice style together on the ice and she has a ton of personality in their programs. They won both their segments at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships and set themselves up to be one of the top US junior teams this season. However, their Junior Worlds score was their lowest score of the season and they'll need to keep their levels up and be more consistent in their scores.
Edwards and Pang won bronze medals at both of their JGP events last season and just missed qualifying for the Final. They went on to finish just outside the top 10 at Junior Worlds. They also won both of their segments at Lake Placid earlier this summer but were a few points behind Edwards and Pang. They also had some inconsistency last season with a nearly 22 point spread between events.
Sforza and Fioretti finished just .01 points behind Hawayek and Baker at their first JGP assignment last year and were only a point behind Edwards and Pang at Junior Worlds. They seem poised to claim the first JGP medal of their careers if they can continue to keep pace with the top two teams here.
Evdokimova and Bazin also finished off the podium at their two events last season but finished solidly within the top 10. They're also chasing their first JGP medal here.
One young team to keep an eye on is Lewis and Bye. They are the reigning US novice champions and at just 13 and 15 have several years of JGP eligibility ahead of them. They finished in the top 3 in both of their segments at the Lake Placid Ice Dance Championships.
My podium predictions:
Bios of the competitors:
Desveaux/Razgulajevs, CAN: This is their international debut. She is 16 and he is 16.
Edwards/Pang, CAN: They placed 12th at Junior Worlds. They won bronze at JGP France and bronze at JGP Turkey last season. Their personal best is 135.01. She is 17 and he is 18.
Zdrakova/Aiken, GBR: They placed 17th at JGP Slovenia last season. Their personal best is 65.60. She is 14 and he is 17.
Glastris/Lettner, GRE: They placed 26th at Junior Worlds. They finished 16th at JGP Turkey and 13th at JGP Croatia last season. Their personal best is 92.15. She is 18 and he is 20.
Sforza/Fioretti, ITA: They finished 13th at Junior Worlds. They placed 6th at JGP Turkey last season. Their personal best is 127.98. She is 18 and he is 20.
Evdokimova/Bazin, RUS: They placed 5th at JGP France and 7th at JGP Slovenia last season. Their personal best is 116.81. She is 16 and he is 17.
Hawayek/Baker, USA: They placed 7th at Junior Worlds. They finished 5th at JGP Turkey and won silver at JGP Germany last season. Their personal best is 138.61. She is 16 and he is 19.
Lewis/Bye, USA: This is their international debut. She is 13 and he is 15.