I agree with this assessment. Really the 3 American men could all finish from 7th to 17th depending on exactly how they skate and their competitors skate so 3 spots is not realistic at all. 2 spots they should manage but 2 guys will have to skate well to ensure that.Sorry, lets be clear what I believe will happen. In 2008, two senior neophytes had their worlds debut - Stephen Carriere and Jeremy Abbott. They ranked tenth and eleventh. Wier came third so they got three spots, but on their own they would've been fine for two.
I think there are only a handful of skaters who are "guaranteed" to beat the American trio: Chan, the Japanese troika and the Frenchmen. Yes, yes, ice is slippery, but any of these six ranking behind the Americans would constitute a MAJOR shock to my system, frankly.
Then there are so many skaters that COULD potentially beat them. Could. Maybe. Possibly. In the realm of human experience. These include Verner, Brezina, Schlutheiss, Contesti, D. Ten, Fernandez, Majorov, van der Perren, Gachinsky etc.
I think that given the odds of everyone skating well (Fernandez, Brezina coming back from injury, D. Ten has fallen more than Patrick Chan this season etc) being what they are, the Americans should be able to get two spots. Three would require a massive fluke. But it'll be a fight, not a walk in the park.
Miner did compete in the 09/10 season - he came third in the JGPF. He missed Nationals because of that injury.