My Podium Predictions:
Gold: Anna Pogorilaya (RUS)
Silver: Ashley "Diva" Wagner (USA)
Bronze: Satoko Miyahara (JPN)
Anna Pogorilaya (RUS) is another in a long line of up and coming young Russian Divas. Girlfriend surprised us all by finishing fourth at Worlds in 2014 post-Sochi. She has been overshadowed by Sotnikova, Tuktamysheva, and Radionova in recent years, but she seems poised to make a name for herself and break out here.
Ashley Wagner (USA) is entering a crucial season. She will have to fight all of the critics that say she is too old, as well as all the young skaters who very well may prove she is too old. I question her decision to do the Moulin Rouge free skate, because I don't think it helps to fix her image. However, this might be her way of saying screw the skating establishment, I'm doing what ever I want. She tends to peak early in the season, so I don't see her leaving Canada without a medal of some color. She needs to make a strong showing to prove to USFS that she is worth investing in with another trip to Worlds.
Satoko Miyahara (JPN) has a huge role to fill with Mao Asada moving on. The classic Japanese ladies have all gone, and they are waiting for their next champion to emerge. Satoko was a junior circuit star, but she never won a junior World medal. She peaks early in the season so I see her putting up a strong fight here. She won the Gardenia Trophy and the Lombardia Trophy here, so she shouldn't be rusty at all.
The Rest of the Field:
Brooklee Han (AUS)-14th at 2014 Four Continents, 20th at 2014 Olympics, 19th at 2014 Worlds, 4th at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy, 10th at 2014 Skate America
Alaine Chartrand (CAN)-5th at 2014 World Juniors, 7th at 2014 Four Continents, 4th at 2014 US International Classic
Veronik Mallet (CAN)-13th at 2014 Four Continents, 7th at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy
Julianne Seguin (CAN)-3rd at 2014 Skate Canada Autumn Classic
Rika Hongo (JPN)-8th at 2014 Junior Worlds, 1st at 2014 Triglav Trophy, 1st at 2014 Asian Open, 3rd at 2014 Finlandia Trophy
Hae Jin Kim (KOR)-6th at 2014 Four Continents, 16th at 2014 Olympics, 23rd at 2014 Worlds, 5th at 2014 Asian Open, 9th at 2014 O. Nepela
Alena Leonova (RUS)-4th at 2014 Europeans, 2nd at 2014 Nebelhorn Trophy
Viktoria Helgesson (SWE)-14th at 2014 Europeans, 27th at 2014 Olympics, 2nd at 2014 Nordics, 8th at 2014 Lombardia, 4th at 2014 O. Nepela
Courtney Hicks (USA)-5th at 2014 Four Continents, 2nd at 2014 US International