Rising Russian stars Adelina Sotnikova and Elizaveta Tuktamisheva will be looking to impress on their senior debut in the absence of Olympic and world champions Kim Yu-Na and Miki Ando as the ISU figure skating Grand Prix series gets underway this weekend.
South Korea's Kim and Japan's Ando will not be competing in the six-leg GP series which kicks off at Skate America in California on Friday, nor will reigning Olympic men's champion Evan Lysacek of the United States.
And just over two years before the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, the 15-year-old Sotnikova and Tuktamisheva, 14, are carrying Russian hopes of gold.
Skaters compete in two events in the series with the top six in each discipline - men, women, pairs and ice dancing - qualifying for the GP final in Quebec City from December 8-11.
World junior champion Sotnikova, who won the first of her two national titles aged 12, will compete in the Cup of China in Shanghai (Nov 4-6), and the Cup of Russia (Nov 25-27), in her home town of Moscow.
Kim, who is involved in promoting Pyeongchang's bid to host the 2018 Winter Games, also did not compete in last year's GP series but returned for the world championships in Moscow where she finished second behind Ando.
Former two-time world champion Mao Asada of Japan will be looking to return to her top form after a poor 2010 with the Olympic silver medallist competing in the NHK Trophy in Sapporo, Japan (Nov 11-13) and the Cup of Russia.
He had been tentatively assigned to compete in Skate America but withdrew after failing to reach agreement over financial terms with US Figure Skating.
"Evan wasn't satisfied with our athlete contract," said Barb Reichert, USFS communications director.
"Therefore, he has decided not to compete on the Grand Prix circuit."
Lysacek said on his website: "I'm extremely disappointed in this turn of events, but I hope to be back on competitive ice this season."
As the reigning Olympic champion he has a bye into the US championships in January and could move ahead with his competitive comeback there.
Reigning world champion Patrick Chan will begin his campaign at his home event Skate Canada before competing in the Trophee Bompard.
Czech Michal Brezina will also compete in the season opener after missing last year's GP season because of injury. He finished fourth at worlds.
Former world champion Daisuke Takahashi will not defend his Skate America title, kicking off his campaign at Skate Canada, and also competing at home at the NHK Trophy.
Italy?s Carolina Kostner, the world bronze medallist, headlines the women's field at Skate America along with American Alissa Czisny, last year's GP final winner. Russia's Ksenia Marakova will also be in the medals running.
Three-time world champions Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy of Germany are favourites in the pairs, with China's Zhang Dan and Zhang Hao in the medals hunt along with Canada's Kirsten Moore-Towers and Dylan Moscovitch.
Source: AFP Global Edition