The Red Wings have had tremendous success over the last two decades with a bevy of smaller, skilled players. They will continue to covet undersized players as long as they can skate, pass and score.

But they also recognize a growing trend in the NHL: Players are growing. Bigger is better. Teams that can flourish with a roster of smaller players during the regular season often struggle to score in the playoffs, when games get tighter and you need that element of grit and toughness.

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That’s why Detroit has altered its drafting philosophy to focus on landing bigger bodies.

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The Wings took six players during the second day of the NHL entry draft Saturday — three forwards, two defensemen and a goaltender. None is under 6 feet, and a few of them are heavy bodies.

“It’s evolution of every sport. Everyone is bigger, stronger, faster,” Wings assistant general manager Jim Nill said. “It’s just the way the game is.”

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