This paper presents a SAT encoding, called vertex elimination encoding (VEE), for the Hamiltonian Cycle Problem (HCP). The encoding maps a Hamiltonian cycle in the reduced graph after vertex elimination to a Hamiltonian cycle in the original graph. While VEE is not competitive for large dense graphs due to its large encoding sizes, it can be utilized to reduce graphs when they are sparse. This paper compares VEE with the distance encoding, and shows that the hybridization of these two encodings is effective for the benchmarks. For the knight’s tour problem, in particular, the hybrid encoding solves some middle-sized instances that were beyond the reach for previous eager SAT encodings.