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Who will be the men's breakout stars in 2017-18?

Icenetwork predicts which skaters will come into their own this season
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With an arsenal of quads at his disposal, U.S. silver medalist Vincent Zhou enters this season with lofty expectations. -Getty Images

Icenetwork asked its contributors which men's skaters they thought would take the next step forward in the 2017-18 season.

Vladislav Luchianov

U.S.

Nathan Chen, who already made a big leap forward last season, will continue his growth and, through strengthening his program components, should claim his second U.S. title. Medaling at major international competitions, including the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, is not out of the question either.

International

Mikhail Kolyada, the reigning Russian champion and European bronze medalist, has what it takes technically and artistically to dethrone Javier Fernández and win his first continental title.

Philip Hersh

U.S.

It's hard to think of a former U.S. champion, YouTube sensation and 2014 Olympian as a potential breakout skater, but that term applies to Jason Brown. If he can stay healthy, don't be surprised to see the ever-optimistic Brown land his first quadruple jump in competition and improve on his ninth-place Olympic finish.

International

Stephen Gogolev is not only age ineligible for the Olympics but, at 12 years old, too young for even the Junior Grand Prix circuit. Yet the precocious Canadian, who has landed quads in competition this summer, will get a chance to show how close he is to being the sport's next big thing by jumping to the senior level in national events.

Nick McCarvel

U.S.

It will be interesting to see what Vincent Zhou does this year, won't it? Regardless of what happens at the U.S. championships, and whether he gets picked for the Olympic team, this dynamic youngster is going to make an impression on the senior circuit.

International

With his style and zest on the ice, Deniss Vasiljevs caught my eye at the 2016 World Championships in Boston. He made a statement by finishing seventh at Europeans last year, and with two Grand Prix assignments this season and the inimitable Stéphane Lambiel in his corner, the Latvian could surprise a lot of people.

Jean-Christophe Berlot

U.S.

Vincent Zhou made a name for himself at the domestic level when he won the silver medal at the U.S. Championships last season. He then reached international fame when he was crowned world junior champion two months later. He may now be ready to break out in the senior ranks on the global stage.

International

Latvia's Deniss Vasiljevs surprised many last season by landing in the last free skate group at the European championships. After placing seventh at that event, he went on to perform beautifully, both technically and artistically, at worlds. This upcoming season could be his coming-out party.

Sarah S. Brannen

U.S.

I've been covering Vincent Zhou all summer for icenetwork's "Creating the Program" series, and I'm a believer. He's already the reigning world junior champion and U.S. silver medalist, so he's not exactly "breaking out" from the pack, but Zhou is competing as a senior internationally for the first time this season. He has the toughest technical content in the world, and he is working hard on his artistry and components. I think, barring injury, that Zhou will be a major player on the world scene going forward and is a likely pick for the Olympic team.

International

Dmitri Aliev, who finished second to Zhou at junior worlds, looks ready to join the top ranks this season. I hear he has three different quads already; at an early-season competition in Russia, he landed a quad lutz-triple toe as well as a quad toe en route to scoring 99.70 points in the short program. But he's more than just a jumper: He's a beautiful, expressive skater who gets great component scores.

Wei Xiong

U.S.

This is a no-brainer. Since he won the world junior title last season with a solid quad lutz and quad salchow, Vincent Zhou has added the quad flip to his arsenal, making him one of the few men who is able to put out two quads in the short and five in the free. Besides the jumps, Zhou's musicality and expression really stood out in the junior field; with help from Jeff Buttle this off-season, Zhou should see improvement in the second mark and bring even more fire to the already fierce senior men's field.

International

Korea's Jun-hwan Cha is a joy to watch. Last season, he medaled at both of his Junior Grand Prix events, took third at the JGP Final and placed fifth at junior worlds. Though he is injured at the moment, the reigning Korean champion will seize the chance to impress audiences this season -- especially when he is in front of the home crowd at the PyeongChang Olympics.

Lynn Rutherford

U.S.

If he can solidify his quadruple toe loop and triple axel -- and hit both jumps in the same program -- Andrew Torgashev has the charisma, skating skills and work ethic to place in the top six in the U.S. this season and, possibly, earn a Four Continents assignment. If he adds another quad or two, the sky's the limit.

International

Add Russia's Dmitri Aliev to the growing list of skaters with a quad lutz in their repertoire. At age 18, the 2017 world junior silver medalist also boasts a solid quad toe. His clean, long-legged style bears a resemblance to that of 1998 Olympic champion Ilia Kulik.

FINAL TALLY

U.S.

Vincent Zhou - 4
Jason Brown - 1
Nathan Chen - 1
Andrew Torgashev - 1

International

Dmitri Aliev - 2
Deniss Vasiljevs - 2
Jun-hwan Cha - 1
Stephen Gogolev - 1
Mikhail Kolyada - 1