I am sure that Orser will guide (and protect) Nam to make the right choice for Nam, but Canada is in such a dead zone right now while we wait for the next wave, I would guess that they are trying their best to persuade Nam to step up.
Watching the junior worlds, and seeing the interaction of the junior skaters amongst each other (they really seem to get along), and getting the impression that the wave of junior skaters coming up (take any of Nathan Chen, Pitkeev, Boyang Jin, Shoma Uno) is going to be like a tidal wave (seriously, bank on it) when it hits seniors, it would kind of break my heart to see Nam separated away from juniors.
Juniors is amazing to watch for men right now (can't get that chatanooga choo choo song out of my head, thank you very much Mr. Chen).
Regarding the U.S. GP event, I would be very surprised if both Hanyu and Brown aren't there together, and those tickets have to be worth their weight in gold.
Hanyu's pattern, other than his first and second year in seniors, for grand prix preliminary events seems to be not to go to the same place two years in row, and, for events generally over the year, to have as broad of a competitive experience and exposure geographically as possible. I don't know if he does that always intentionally, but it seems to be noticeably a pattern for him. For next season, if he does not go to Skate America or Skate Canada (worlds are Shanghai, GPF is in Barcelona and 4CC is in Seoul), he will have no competitions at all in North America. I think that, unless he had to go somewhere else, he would want one event in North America. I don't think that he will want to do Skate Canada two years in a row. I think, unless overruled, he will choose Skate America. I know there are other considerations, but those considerations (like Skate America having a good field) would seem to support going to Skate America (he is not afraid of competing against anyone) rather than not going there. I don't have inside information of how Hanyu thinks or strategizes. He is full of surprises and wiser at what he does than any of his critics, competitors or fans who think they have him figured out or second guess him. So admittedly it is just a hunch from having followed him very closely for the last four years. (And I could be wrong.)
I know that ultimately it is the federations and the ISU who decide who goes where, but if there is one skater who probably gets his first choices, I would put my money on it that the skater is Hanyu.
As for Skate America, the USFSA wants to do two things. First, it wants its own skaters to qualify for GPF, and second it wants a big draw for its own events. This year, it also has a free hand because it is not restricted by the 1-2-3 and 4-5-6 protocol (providing Abbott retires . . . forever the monkey wrench is Mr. Abbott). It can invite whoever it wants, and Hanyu is a fantastic choice along with their own Jason Brown.
Hanyu and Brown are the perfect combination because, despite their individual dominating personalities and over-the-top charisma, put on the same rink together neither of these two detracts from the other. They seem to make each other look better and skate better, and they are both really great pr for the sport. They are both the real deal. I am not sure how Skate America will market it, but having them together would certainly present a lot of great possibilities. It just makes sense to me.
One thing Skate Canada and Skate America are excellent at over the years is selecting entries who benefit their home skaters. Basically assembling as weak a field as possible. I am sure that will happen again this year, and both will be very clever, more than any of the grand prixs, to face the home skaters. I dont think you will see Hanyu at Skate America. They will probably pick Brown, but they want to hold out hope of a miracle victory to hype their next big star of the sport (at the Olympics the hype machine on him in the US really began), and they sure as heck wont want Hanyu, a skater he has no hope of beating. They will most likely pick someone like Machida instead.
Weaver & Poje will get SC probably and they will select a team like the Shibutanis as the next seed, assembling an overall weak field to ensure them of their first grand prix win.
Duhamel & Radford will also get SC and SC will do a fine job as they did this season in gathering the weakest field they can buy the rules to ensure them of winning (although they essentialy did that this season but D&R had so many mistakes they lost anyway).
Just read that Shoma competed in senior level today in Italy. That's the one that surprised me.
I think Hanyu "chooses" Skate Canada as long as Orser is with him.
The second event is of course NHK.
Machida - SA and TEB
Fernandez - China and Russia