Team Canada 2018 has a very different look than last season. Canada probably took the hardest hit when it comes to losing its star power. The skaters that had led the various national teams over the past eight years have all moved on, with the exception of Kaetlyn Osmond who is taking the season off to re-energize and explore new options.
Ice dancers Piper Gilles and Paul Poirier, the pairs team of Kirsten Moore-Towers and Michael Marinaro, Gabrielle Daleman and Keegan Messing will assume the mantle as the leaders of the Canadian team this season.
Skate Canada is now in a re-development and rebuilding mode, which is highlighted by the fact that the number of ladies, pairs and ice dance teams on its international roster, which falls below its normal threshold. Normally there would be five in each discipline.
On the flip side, the up-and-comers who did not qualify for national teams in the past now have the opportunity to gain experience and develop. Competing on the international stages against the best in the world will give them a better perspective of where they stand in terms of competitive ranking and will also afford them the opportunity to grow and develop.
While Canada’s senior division is now in a rebuilding stage, that is not the case in the junior ranks when it comes to the men where there is an abundance of talent. Stephen Gogolev is one the top proteges in that nation and there were high hopes for him to succeed in his debut on the junior circuit this season. However, after winning his debut outing in Bratislava, he faltered at his second assignment on home soil in Canada and is currently the first alternate for the Junior Grand Prix Final in December.