PROVIDENCE — Boston Bruins goaltender Tim Thomas is known as a guy who’s always cordial to his goaltending partners. And if a guy happens to be a young up-and-comer, Thomas isn’t above taking that kid under his wing.

That’s why Providence Bruins No. 1 netminder Tuukka Rask says he has nothing but well wishes for the Boston veteran after Thomas signed a four-year contract extension today.

“I think it’s good to have a guy there who’s your friend and you know him from before,” said the Bruins’ heir apparent after a 6-0 loss to Hartford tonight at Dunkin’ Donuts Center. “I expected him to sign and to see him sign and make the money he deserves (is great).”

A highly touted former first-round pick, Rask is finishing up his second full season of North American hockey. He’s gotten a taste here and there of the NHL, including this year’s preseason and one regular-season game (a shutout of the New York Rangers). Locking up a potential Vezina Trophy winner through the early part of next decade means the Bruins aren’t going to just hand the reins over to Rask any time soon. And he welcomes the challenge.

“The competition always gets harder when you go up to the NHL level. It’s not going to be easy on anybody,” said Rask. “Obviously you expect that the best goalie plays. Nobody just takes the starting job off Timmy, but you just try to work hard every day and push each other and be better in spots.”