The short list of candidates to step in is, well, short. The Sound Tigers were great last year at pulling strings and finding ECHL players to step in and fill spots as many of their players were called up to the NHL. If the team wanted instead to look to its own farm system, there are a few candidates. Excluding the seven defenders drafted in 2012 (we'll leave them out for brevity and the obvious assumption that they need more time), the Islanders top defensive prospects not already in Bridgeport are Robbie Russo, Andrey Pedan, Scott Mayfield, and Brenden Kitchon. All four were draft picks in 2011.
With Calvin de Haan now out for the season, that frees up a spot on what was originally a very crowded blueline in Bridgeport. There are still 7 defenders on the roster -- de Haan was the eighth -- so there's no immediate worry or need defensively. But of course if there's an injury in the short term or an end to the lockout that sends Travis Hamonic (and another, possibly) to Long Island later on, the Sound Tigers are going to have to fill the void.