All the NHL farm teams are in the AHL
The Wolves are the farm team of the Atlanta Thrashers.
They are a farm team for the Chicago Blackhawks.
Manchester Monarchs are the closest farm team to the NHL, then after the Monarchs are the Reading Royals
Grand Rapids Griffins.
Currently the Adirondack Phantoms
Each NHL team has an affiliate team (or farm team) that plays in the American Hockey League. Many of the AHL teams are in the same city as their NHL affiliate. Many NHL teams are also affiliated with an East Coast Hockey League team.
All of the teams in the NHL have American players.
They get paid the amount they signed a contract too. They can be brought up from the "farm" team at any time.