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Who will be the men's breakout stars in 2016-17?

Icenetwork predicts which skaters will come into their own this season
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Deniss Vasiljevs made a big impact in his worlds debut last season, and several of our experts believe he could further enhance his profile in 2016-17. -Getty Images

Icenetwork asked its contributors which men's competitors they thought would take the next step forward in the 2016-17 season.

Lynn Rutherford

U.S.

Tim Dolensky's back-to-back performances at Skate Detroit and the Glacier Falls Summer Classic showed he's getting close on his quad salchow, landing the jump in warmups and practices. If he rotates it in his programs -- and his triple axel gains consistency -- he will add jumping power to his already fine spins and strong skating skills, and his program components will rise in tandem.

International

I'm cheating a bit here, because with his brilliant fourth-place finish at the 2016 World Figure Skating Championships, Mikhail Kolyada has already made a mark. The young Russian is a true all-around skater: musical, fluid and a fine technician. He should win his first national title and European medal this season. If he can add a second quad to his repertoire, he could challenge for a world medal.

Vladislav Luchianov

U.S

Grant Hochstein had a very impressive season last year, when he finished in the top 10 at the world championships, and he's eager for much more this season. A podium finish at the U.S. championships seems very possible. 

International

Last season was a mixed bag for Shoma Uno, as the Japanese skater had some wonderful performances and some forgettable ones. But as his experience grows, he has the ability to shake up the world men's skating establishment -- namely, Yuzuru Hanyu and Javier Fernández.

Jean-Christophe Berlot

U.S.

One of icenetwork's "People of the Year" in 2016 and an undisputed quad master, Nathan Chen injured himself at the end of the 2016 U.S. Championships. If he is back in form and up to his usual standard, he may take the senior U.S. field by storm.

International

The assumption here is that Japan's Shoma Uno has not broken out yet. Quite disappointed after his seventh-place finish in Boston, the young Japanese prodigy has added a quad flip to his arsenal since. He might well reach the world podium in 2017. 

Nick McCarvel

U.S.

I mean, it'd be insane not to go with Nathan Chen, right? Yes, he's already made his mark on the national level, and many think he should have been national champion in Saint Paul last January. He has a full slate on the Grand Prix this season, and you know that he is being pushed hard by coach Rafael Arutunian. The question with him is, will his body hold up?

International

I was pretty enraptured with then 16-year-old Latvian Deniss Vasiļjevs at worlds in Boston. Electric, dynamic and -- what I liked most -- fearless. He'll make his Grand Prix debut in Russia this fall, and the fact that he's working with Stéphane Lambiel now to me is a sign that he wants to up his game. 

Sarah S. Brannen

U.S.

I've been watching Andrew Torgashev since he was 12. His senior U.S. debut was delayed by a broken ankle that iced him for a whole season. Now 15, he's ready to start making his move toward the top. It's probably too soon, but Torgashev (with Nathan Chen and Vincent Zhou) is part of a trio that looks likely to grab the U.S. podium after 2018.

International

My pick last year, Shoma Uno, was a safe bet to have a breakout season, and he did. He's part of a pack of exciting youngsters on the international scene, one that also includes Boyang Jin and Mikhail Kolyada. But since they all broke out already, I'll look a little deeper and pick Latvian Deniss Vasiļjevs to have a very good season.

Wei Xiong

U.S.

Nathan Chen was already a breakout star last season domestically, but he wasn't able to show the world what he was capable of because of the injury he suffered at the U.S. championships. This season, if the 17-year-old can stay healthy and reproduce what he demonstrated in Saint Paul, he could find himself on some international podiums.

International

World junior champion Daniel Samohin would be an easy pick here, not only because he has multiple quads but also because he has consistency. Last season, the Israeli regularly cleared 230 points at both junior and senior events, which is good enough to medal at almost all Challenger Series events and some Grand Prix. This season, with gained experience and improved technique, Samohin may impress us even more.

FINAL TALLY

U.S.

Chen - 3
Hochstein - 1
Dolensky - 1
Torgashev - 1

International

Vasiljevs - 2
Uno - 2
Kolyada - 1
Samohin - 1