The 2013 NHL Draft Lottery, to be held this year on Monday, April 29, will be the first in NHL history where all 14 clubs not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, or the clubs that have acquired the first-round drafting positions of those non-playoff clubs, will have a chance at winning the right to the first overall selection. Under the previous lottery system, only the five teams with the fewest points in the standings had the opportunity to win the first overall selection as rules dictated no team could move up more than four spots.

The NHL Draft Lottery is a weighted system to determine the order of selection for the first 14 picks of the 2013 NHL Draft. Teams finishing with the fewest points during the regular season possess the greatest chance of winning the right to the first pick in the NHL Draft. Fourteen balls, numbered 1 to 14, are placed in a lottery machine. The machine expels four balls, forming a series of numbers. The four-digit series resulting from the expulsion of the balls is matched against a probability chart that divides the possible combinations among the 14 participating clubs. 

While the top pick can now go to any of the 14 non-playoff clubs, or the team owning the rights to the first pick of a non-playoff club, the odds of winning the lottery are unchanged from previous years. The teams in the drawing are ranked in inverse order of their regular season point totals, with team one being the club with the fewest points, and team 14 being the club with the most points among those outside of the playoffs.